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IRIS 2019-1:1/19

France

CSA publishes its annual report on the application of its Food Charter 

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Amélie Blocman

Légipresse

On 29 October 2018 the national audiovisual regulatory authority, the Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisuel (CSA), published a report, which will be sent to the national parliament; the aim of the report is to assess the action taken by the audiovisual communication services in respect of (and to determine the level of compliance with the obligations contained in) its Food Charter. The principle of compiling a report on this area, in order to provide better information regarding television channels’ actions, was incorporated into the Act of 30 September 1986 by the Act of 20 December 2016, which abolished commercial advertising during programmes on public television aimed at children and young people.

In 2009, in the light of the increasing prevalence of food-related health problems, the CSA proposed that audiovisual stakeholders should adhere to a charter intended to promote “healthy eating and regular physical activity”. Thus, in return for the maintenance of the legislative and regulatory provisions governing food advertising in force as at the date of signature, editors, advertisers, producers and agencies undertook voluntarily to take action in support of national policy on public health. A new Charter, signed at the end of 2013 and to remain valid for a period of five years, added further undertakings in an effort to combat obesity and preventing cardiovascular disease. The Charter took account of new methods of broadcasting television programmes (websites and catch-up TV), and its scope was widened to include overseas channels. The minimum volume of programmes devoted to a healthy lifestyle has also been increased. Subsequently, the adoption of the “Gattolin Act”, which abolished commercial advertising before, during and after programmes aimed at children and young people on France Télévisions channels, provided new impetus for more intensive thinking about better eating and combating obesity.

In its report, the CSA welcomed the results achieved, indicating that the volume of programmes promoting a healthy lifestyle had increased from 1 410 to 1 637 hours per year over the period covered by the report. Areas for improvement have nevertheless been identified and will be taken into account when drawing up the Charter for 2019-2023. The CSA intends, for instance, to extend its scope to include new issues related to unhealthy lifestyles, and to pay particular attention to the issue of addictions.

References
Communiqué de presse du CSA, « Charte alimentaire » : publication du rapport annuel destiné au Parlement, 29 octobre 2018 FR
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=19357
 
  Press release issued by the CSA: Food Charter - publication of the annual report to the Parliament, 29 October 2018