by Marion Nestle
Jan 16 2014

Congress on curbing food marketing to kids: not a chance.

Congress can’t pass a farm bill but it has plenty of time to micromanage nutrition and health.  Buried in the pork-filled Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014 (see Monday’s post) are some zingers.  Here’s one:

appropr

This refers to the ill-fated IWG report I’ve discussed previously. To recap:

  • Congress asked the FTC to examine the effects of food marketing to children and make recommendations.
  • The FTC, USDA, FDA, and CDC got together and produced a report recommending voluntary guidelines for marketing to children based on the nutritional quality of the foods.
  • I thought the guidelines were weak in addition to being voluntary (they allowed lots of junk foods to qualify).
  • The food industry disagreed, strongly, and went to Congress to object.
  • Congress caved in to industry pressure and said the report could not be released unless the FTC produced a cost-benefit analysis.
  • End of story.
  • Why Congress feels that it’s necessary to do this again is beyond me.

I suppose we should be glad our legislators are at least doing something.

As for the food industry’s role in all this: when food companies say they are doing everything they can to reduce marketing junk foods to kids, you now know what they really mean.

Comments

  • Casey
  • January 16, 2014
  • 10:02 am

Do those health organizations who work with the junk food industry expect the alligators to drain the food swamp?

[…] Congress on curbing food marketing to kids: not a chance. […]

  • Bettina Siegel
  • January 17, 2014
  • 11:45 am

Marion:

First of all, excellent spotting! Kudos to anyone sifting through the tiny print of that huge bill. But I do have a question:

I’m under no illusion that the IWG’s draft report has any life left in it. But, that said, I noted that the spending prohibition you highlight is lifted if the IWG complies with Executive Order 13563. So I Googled that EO and it seems like just mealy-mouthed recitation of what we ideally want to see in any set of regulations – good science behind them, no dragging effect on the economy, etc. I’m sure that EO 13563 was invoked against the IWG’s efforts in the past, so I’m just wondering — does this little add-on in the Omnibus Spending Bill actually change the status quo?

Thanks,

Bettina at The Lunch Tray

  • RIchard Feinman
  • January 20, 2014
  • 4:01 pm

Is there some reason you didn’t post my comment?

  • RIchard Feinman
  • January 20, 2014
  • 4:09 pm

I would gladly post your comments on my blog. Latest: http://wp.me/16vK0

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[…] enactment of policies to curb marketing to children has been, to put it mildly, an uphill battle in the United States. While television ads and billboards are the most blatant examples, the more […]

[…] enactment of policies to curb marketing to children has been, to put it mildly, an uphill battle in the United States. While television ads and billboards are the most blatant examples, the more […]

[…] enactment of policies to curb marketing to children has been, to put it mildly, an uphill battle in the United States. While television ads and billboards are the most blatant examples, the more […]

[…] enactment of policies to curb marketing to children has been, to put it mildly, an uphill battle in the United States. While television ads and billboards are the most blatant examples, the more […]

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[…] pieces on the politics of nutrition almost every day on her blog. From GMOs to the FDA and USDA, Nestle’s well-written articles simplify current issues in the food industry and raise important […]

[…] pieces on the politics of nutrition almost every day on her blog. From GMOs to the FDA and USDA, Nestle’s well-written articles simplify current issues in the food industry and raise important […]

[…] pieces on the politics of nutrition almost every day on her blog. From GMOs to the FDA and USDA, Nestle’s well-written articles simplify current issues in the food industry and raise important […]

[…] pieces on the politics of nutrition almost every day on her blog. From GMOs to the FDA and USDA, Nestle’s well-written articles simplify current issues in the food industry and raise important […]

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