Earlier this week the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) joined by 152 business associations sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Sebelius, Department of Agriculture Secretary Vilsack and Federal Trade Commission Director Leibowitz highlighting the concerns with the Preliminary Proposed Nutrition Principles for Food Marketed to Children by the Interagency Working Group (IWG).
Excerpt from the letter:
While we all share the Administration’s goal of ending childhood obesity within a generation, the Administration should carefully assess the progress made by our industries and provide peer reviewed evidence that proposed marketing restrictions would contribute to long-term changes in diets. We urge you to withdraw the Preliminary Proposed Nutrition Principles for Food Marketed to Children.
Yesterday the Council of Better Business Bureaus announced a new agreement on child-direct food advertising. These news criteria were designed by the Children’s Food and Beverage Council for the Better Business Bureaus by working closely with top food industry scientists and nutritionists in an effort to improve child-direct food advertising.
From the BBB press release:
“These uniform nutrition criteria represent another huge step forward, further strengthening voluntary efforts to improve child-directed advertising. Now foods from different companies, such as cereals or canned pastas, will meet the same nutrition criteria, rather than similar but slightly different company-specific criteria. The new criteria are comprehensive, establishing limits for calories, saturated fat, trans fat, sodium and total sugars as well as requirements for nutrition components to encourage,” said Elaine Kolish, Vice President and Director of the CFBAI.
The result of a year-long effort to further improve the nutrition composition of foods advertised to children, the new CFBAI criteria take into account food science, U.S. dietary guidelines, and the real-world difficulties of changing recipes of well-known foods. The new CFBAI uniform criteria fill gaps in the system of company-specific standards. They also recognize the inherent differences in food categories and their role in the diet, and set calorie and nutrient requirements that are appropriate for ten categories. Under the new CFBAI criteria, different foods such as cereals, peanut butter and dairy products have different nutrition criteria that are appropriate to each category.
Erik Glavich is director of legal and regulatory policy, National Association of Manufacturers.
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