August 17, 2011 — Government agencies led by the Federal Trade Commission have proposed voluntary guidelines for food marketing to children. The guidelines are far from perfect—real regulation with enforcement mechanisms is the best way to improve the food environment for children—but they represent an important step.
The food and advertising industries are aggressively lobbying Congress to kill the guidelines. They’ve hired high-powered lobbyists; flown in company CEOs to meet with the White House and agency leaders; and trumpeted a bogus study predicting economic disaster if the voluntary standards are adopted.
We can’t match the seemingly endless financial resources of the food, media and advertising industries, but we can let them know we’re holding them accountable. Will you take a moment to write to the Big Food CEOs and let them know you won’t support companies standing in the way of this important effort to improve children’s health?
Food marketing works; studies show it and companies know it. That’s why they spend $2 billion a year marketing food to children. And despite a lot of hoopla about the food industry's self-regulatory program, several studies show that the vast majority of foods marketed to children are still of poor nutritional quality. The science-based guidelines the government agencies have proposed are a significant improvement from the food industry’s own self-serving standards.
Please tell the food and advertising industries to stop the scare tactics and the delays.
(P.S. You can read CCFC’s comments to the FTC about the proposed guidelines here.)