CSPI Reaction to FTC-HHS Report on Food Marketing to Children
Statement of CSPI Nutrition Policy Director Margo G. Wootan
May 2, 2006
The joint report of the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Health and Human Services makes stronger welcome recommendations on improving food marketing aimed at kids. Importantly, the agencies recommend that food companies and the industry-funded Children's Advertising Review Unit, or CARU, set baseline nutrition standards for foods that can be marketed to children through television, schools, and via cartoon characters on food packages.
Currently, virtually any food, no matter how nutritionally bankrupt, can be marketed to virtually any child, no matter how young. Parents are fed up with their authority being subverted by junk-food marketers. The industry's self-regulation system in this area has clearly failed. If the industry wants to salvage that system, and avoid lawsuits by angry parents, food companies and CARU should immediately implement these new government recommendations.