Photo by mborowick/Flickr CC
I could not go to the Federal Trade Commission's December 15 forum on food marketing to children (see previous post), but from all reports I missed quite a show.
Officials of four federal agencies involved in food and food regulation--FTC, FDA, USDA, and CDC--released the results of their collaborative efforts to set standards for marketing foods to kids through an Interagency Working Group on Food Marketed to Children. Congress established this group through the 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act. It specified that the group was to set up standards for identifying foods that should not be marketed to children and to publish them by July 15, 2010.
And what standards did the four agencies come up with? Here are the working group's recommendations:
Take a look at these "Tentative Proposed Standards for Marketing Food to Children 2-17″ and decide for yourself whether they are even remotely meaningful.
The Standards are divided into three categories: Standard 1 is real (largely unprocessed) foods with no added sweeteners or functional ingredients. These could be marketed to children with no further scrutiny.
Foods that do not meet Standard 1 would be required to meet both Standards 2 and 3 in order to be marketed to children.