Originally published: September 7, 2011
Last updated: September 7, 2011 - 3:27pm
Feeling outgunned by the lobbying muscle of the food and advertising industries, proponents of the federal government's proposed voluntary guidelines on marketing food to children are fighting back.
Supporters of the guidelines -- which call for food, beverage, and restaurant companies to either modify product formulations or cut out all marketing aimed at children under 18, from TV ads to packaging to sponsorships, of products that don't meet certain nutrition standards -- felt it was high time to counter what they see as a growing lobbying blitz. So now that Congress is back in session, the Food Marketing Workgroup, a coalition of 95 organizations aimed at improving nutrition and ending obesity among the nation's children, is stepping up its advocacy on the Hill, concentrating on the Democratic-controlled Senate, where they believe they will have better luck gathering support. Margo Wootan, who heads up the FMW (she's also director of nutrition policy for the Center for Science in the Public Interest), says the coalition is focused on the staff of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and is attempting to counter language inserted into House Appropriations bills that would cut off funding for the program.
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