Photo of Michele Simon

Michele Simon is a public health lawyer specializing in industry marketing and lobbying tactics. She is the author of Appetite for Profit: How the Food Industry Undermines Our Health and How to Fight Back, and president of Eat Drink Politics, an industry watchdog consulting business. She is grateful to live in Oakland, Calif., within walking distance of a farmers market. You can follow her on Twitter @MicheleRSimon.

When President Obama signed the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) into law in January 2011, it was considered a long-fought, but significant and bipartisan, victory to update the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s authority and oversight of the food supply. While much of the wrangling over the language of the law was made public through…

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…

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…

Last month, I participated in an important panel at a childhood obesity conference to discuss the current strategy backed by some advocacy groups: asking industry to market “healthier” foods to children. But as Susan Linn and I recently argued, any marketing to children is harmful, regardless of the product’s nutritional content. Instead of begging…

With the passage of the Healthy, Hungry-Free Kids Act of 2010, in addition to improving school meals, Congress required the U.S. Department of Agriculture to update nearly nonexistent nutrition standards on so-called competitive foods. These are foods sold outside the school meal program, including fast food items sold alongside the reimbursable lunches, and soft drinks…