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The Wrong Obama Gives Tough Talk on Junk Food Marketing to Kids

Opinion

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This past week, Michelle Obama gathered 100 food industry representatives, academic experts and public-health advocates for a “summit” at the White House to discuss junk food marketing to children. The event included public remarks by the first lady, followed by a closed-door discussion among attendees, ostensibly to come up with some solutions. Her speech was better than… Continue Reading

Industry Lawyers Tell Big Food How Not to Get Sued

Opinion

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Last week I attended a conference in Washington DC with the lofty title: “3rd Advanced Regulatory and Compliance Summit on Food & Beverage Marketing & Advertising.” The event’s main sponsor was the law firm of Faegre Baker Daniels, whose numerous mega-corporate food clients include Cargill, Dean Foods and Nestlé. In addition, the firm represents (under the heading of “crop… Continue Reading

Feds to Parents: Big Food Still Exploiting Your Children; Good Luck With That

Opinion

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If you wanted to ensure a report gets buried, a good time to release it would be the Friday before a holiday week. That the Federal Trade Commission released its latest report on marketing to children on that day speaks volumes about how seriously the Obama administration is taking this intractable problem. The mind-numbing 356-page document is billed as… Continue Reading

Disney Bans Junk Food Marketing from its Network Kingdom

Over the next three years, the Walt Disney Company will phase junk food advertising out of its TV and radio programming targeted at kids. Under the new plan – announced Tuesday – all foods marketed on Disney’s channels will have to meet the company’s nutrition guidelines, created in 2006 and recently updated to align with… Continue Reading

Guide to Fighting Fast Food in Your Own Back Yard

Opinion

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It’s hard not to get depressed over the politics of food these days, given the massive power of the food industry to influence everything from the farm bill to childhood obesity. So a new report, Slowing Down Fast Food: A policy guide for healthier kids and families, on how we can fight back couldn’t come… Continue Reading

More Empty Recommendations on Junk Food Marketing to Children

Last week, the nation’s top public health experts gathered at a much-trumpeted obesity conference hosted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called Weight of the Nation. (A quick glance at the agenda reveals nothing that would even begin to challenge the food industry.) Released at this bland event was an equally uninspired… Continue Reading

Congress to Kids: Drop Dead

Last month, when Congress declared pizza a vegetable, it was hard to believe things could get much worse. But never underestimate politicians’ ability to put corporate interests ahead of children’s health. In the massive budget bill just passed, Congress stuck in language to require the Federal Trade Commission to conduct a cost/benefit analysis before finalizing… Continue Reading

Toying with the Happy Meal: Is McDonald’s Evading the Law?

While most media outlets dubbed it the “Happy Meal toy ban,” the ordinance passed in San Francisco last year didn’t ban anything. The law just placed a few reasonable nutrition guidelines (a maximum of 600 calories per meal and limits on fat and salt, for example) for restaurants using free toy incentives to lure kids… Continue Reading

Eating Fruits and Vegetables is No Job Killer

An effort to get American children to eat more fruits and vegetables should, even in hyper-polarized Washington, be a no-brainer.  Congress recently declared pizza sauce to be a vegetable in school lunches. Now, major food manufacturers are escalating their attacks against healthy food calling proposed food marketing guidelines “job killers” that will devastate the American… Continue Reading

PepsiCo Wants to ‘Scare the Crap’ Out of Your Kids

PepsiCo has long been my poster child for food corporations whose actions speak louder than words when to comes to responsible marketing. CEO Indra Nooyi loves to tout the company’s “Performance with Purpose” and show off the company’s “good-for-you” foods that it gets to define. Most don’t realize that PepsiCo is the nation’s largest food… Continue Reading