Healthy Food Marketing Guidelines At Risk

Healthy Food Marketing Guidelines At Risk

Thu 15 Dec 2011

Story by The Food Revolution Team & CSPI
 

Following on from recent pizza and potato politics whereby Congress let us down by brazenly overruling science-based standards to keep unhealthy items on the school lunch tray, more guidelines impacting children’s health are under threat due to lobbying. This time the battle is over junk-food marketing to children—and we need your help!

In 2009, Congress directed several federal agencies to form the Interagency Working Group (IWG) on Food Marketed to Children, with the goal of developing voluntary guidelines for companies that market food to children aged 2 to 17 years.

The IWG consisted of experts from four key federal agencies - the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Having reviewed food and beverage marketing to kids, earlier this year the IWG proposed a strong set of guidelines based on both nutrition and what marketing should be covered.

While these new standards were excellent and gained the support of over 28,000 parents, health organizations, and others who all submitted comments, industry is urging the government to pull these marketing guidelines.

The food and beverage industry and media companies are lobbying the President, his Administration, and Congress to prevent the IWG from finalizing the marketing recommendations, leaving these proposed guidelines in danger of being withdrawn.

This would have a major impact on public health. The food and beverage industry spend over $5million per day marketing mainly unhealthy foods (high in saturated fats, sugar, salt and calories) to children, and strong marketing guidelines like those proposed by the IWG could help change this.

The nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) is urging people to write to President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama (and the IWG agencies) to encourage the Administration to finalize and release a strong set of voluntary nutrition guidelines and marketing definitions for food marketed to children, as requested by Congress.

Your support is urgently needed! Click here to join CSPI and write today to ask government to stand up to junk-food marketers and adopt a set of strong food marketing guidelines as Congress requested and so many parents, health professionals, and researchers support.

Find out more about the IWG guidelines by watching this video.

The Food Revolution Team & CSPI

Centre For Science In The Public Interest

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