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.