I’m keynoting the workship on Food, Ethics, Politics at 4:00 with a reception to follow. My talk, “”Food, Ethics, Politics: The View from 2022,” will be in the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, Maeder Hall, Room 002. This event is part of the University Center for Human Values (UCHV) Conferences, Workshops & Special Events. To register to attend, click here.
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:
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.