BROOKLYN— Senator Zellnor Y. Myrie (D-Brooklyn) today introduced the Predatory Marketing Prevention Act (S.7487) at a press conference in Crown Heights. Senator Myrie stood on a corner surrounded by several fast-food restaurants, dressed as a carrot.
The new legislation expands the definition of misleading or deceptive advertising to include unhealthy food marketed to children, and allows regulators to target food industries that advertise unhealthy foods that cause child obesity, diabetes and other harmful effects.
"The junk food industry aggressively markets its products to young people, especially in communities of color," said Senator Myrie. "These companies make billions from communities like ours, while leaving us vulnerable to poor health outcomes and consequences that last a lifetime. This new legislation will finally give regulators and our communities tools that can curb deceptive advertising of unhealthy foods."
Obesity and related comorbidities are currently the second leading preventable cause of death in the U.S. and may soon overtake tobacco as the leading cause of death. New Yorkers living and working in lower income neighborhoods are exposed to almost twice the proportion of predatory food and beverage marketing messages as those in higher income communities.
"If we do not stop unhealthy food consumption for our children today, they will be the victims of the next pandemic tomorrow," concluded Senator Myrie.
This bill clarifies children as a particularly vulnerable audience to food advertisements. Amendments will also clearly define what wholesome foods are.