Childhood obesity is one of the top health and food safety concerns in Australia, and parents have come out strongly against junk food advertising during children’s programs.
68% said an advertising junk food ban during children’s television programming would have a positive impact on children’s eating habits
These findings mirror the stand of the Coalition on Food Advertising to Children (CFAC) that current Australian regulations and codes of practice are ineffective at protecting children from TV junk food campaigns.
Asian food safety
The survey also asked respondents about food safety, saying Australian foods are generally are safe to eat.
However, 67% of respondents did not feel confident about the safety of food products imported from Asia. The findings also indicated that the public would like to see evidence of tighter regulation on foods imported from Asia.
78% said they felt confident about food products from the US while 82% felt the same about foods from UK.
All foods imported into Australia must comply with requirements under the Imported Food Control Act 1992, which is implemented through the Australian Government’s Imported Food Inspection Scheme (IFIS).
The survey also revealed that the production and sale of genetically modified foods is cause for concern in Australia where up to 44% of respondents felt that GM foods are safe to eat, while 36% of respondents felt the opposite.
Agreement on labelling
The survey showed 96% of the population felt GM food should be labelled, with 46% saying it was very likely or somewhat likely that they would buy foods that are labelled as genetically modified.
When asked how likely they would be to eat genetically modified foods, 48% said that it was either very likely or somewhat likely that they would and a slightly higher 53% said that it was not very likely or not at all likely that they would eat foods that are labelled as genetically modified.
The Public Opinion on Food Security survey was conducted for the Australian National University by the Social Research Centre on a sample of 1,200 adults aged 18 years and over between July 12 and July 25 last year.