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Multiple States in Mexico Move to Ban “Junk Food” to Curb Obesity in Children

  • New laws in several Mexican states will place a complete ban on the sale of food high in sugar to children, which will include harsh penalties on any sellers that disobey the directives including fines, and even jail time for repeat offenders.

  • By way of example, in Tabasco, Mexico, there is now a prohibition of the “ the sale, distribution, donation, gift, and supply of prepackaged sugary drinks, carbonated sugary drinks, sweets and prepared foods with a predominance of refined carbohydrates and vegetable fats in their solid form that contain hydrogenated fatty acids in their trans form, to minors [under the age of 18], as well as their consumption in medical and educational centers.”  Moreover, the State of Tabasco will prohibit vending machines in education centers, public and private hospitals, clinics, and health centers.  In Oaxaca, Mexico, a similar law will forbid the sale, distribution and promotion of sugary drinks, and junk food to those under age.   It will also apply to vending machines in schools.  These states will continue to allow parents or legal guardians to purchase these types of products for their children.

  • In regard to the advertising of foods high in sugar, the State of Tabasco will prohibit advertisements, posters or any type of advertising referring to the aforementioned products within a 300 meter radius from any educational centers, medical centers, and hospitals.  In addition, the price to advertise in authorized locations will increase by 25 percent.

  • These new laws follow a host of measures over the years that aim to reduce consumption of food high in sugar, including a new food labeling law, which will go into effect in October.  Other Mexican state governments, including Mexico City, Colima, Guanajuato, San Luis Potosi, and Tamaulipas have shown interest in adopting similar initiatives.   We will continue to monitor any developments.

© 2020 Keller and Heckman LLPNational Law Review, Volume X, Number 233
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Keller and Heckman offers global food and drug services to its clients. Our comprehensive and extensive food and drug practice is one of the largest in the world. We promote, protect, and defend products made by the spectrum of industries regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Commission and Member States authorities in the European Union (EU) and similar authorities throughout the world. The products we help get to market include foods, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, veterinary products, dietary supplements, and cosmetics. In addition...

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