October 22, 2014

Praise for a ban on junk food bans

A push by state lawmakers to prevent local governments from banning the sale of junk food and large sugary drinks is earning praise from Wisconsin’s food retailers.

The provision inserted in the state budget would prohibit local ordinances that ban the sale of high-calorie foods or beverages. Brandon Scholz with the Wisconsin Grocers Association says it prevents rules that could be expensive and confusing for businesses, which might have to deal with creating different ads or ordering systems for areas with conflicting policies.

While no Wisconsin communities have such a ban on the books right now, Scholz says it’s better to approach the issue from a statewide angle. He says it makes “more sense to start at the beginning, rather than wait to see if this is going to happen.”

AUDIO: Brandon Scholz (:13)

While many retailers say it’s the right move for Wisconsin, some health advocates have been critical of the proposal. Health First Wisconsin argues the measure prevents local communities from taking their own steps to help reduce childhood obesity and reign in rising health care costs.