Days after receiving several campaign checks from the food lobby last May, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat who is up for reelection this year, sent a letter raising concerns about the Federal Trade Commission's efforts to develop voluntary guidelines aimed at toning down the marketing of junk food to kids.Continue reading
No government money to criticize soda, says freshman lawmaker
Outraged that federal stimulus money has been used for local advertisements targeting soda as unhealthy, Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., has introduced the Protecting Foods and Beverages from Government Attack Act, which would make it illegal to use federal funds to criticize a legal food or beverage product.
A member of the House Agriculture Committee, the freshman has collected more than $24,000 from the food and beverage industry, including $4,500 from Steve Ennis, the recently deceased CEO of a local Coca Cola bottling company. Susan Hirschmann, a Coca Cola lobbyist who served as chief of staff to former House ...Continue reading
Food and media companies donated generously to lawmakers opposing food marketing guidelines for kids
Last summer, a bipartisan group of House members from Pennsylvania wrote federal agencies complaining that proposed guidelines restricting the marketing of unhealthy food to children marked “an alarming regulatory overreach.” They emphasized their sugary roots in “the leading confectionary producing state in the nation.”
Indeed, Pennsylvania is home to the 117-year-old Hershey Company, maker of the ubiquitous Hershey’s kiss. But what the lawmakers from the Keystone State didn’t say was that they had other “constituents”—out-of-state campaign cash constituents, many of them Washington-based trade associations.
The massive lobbying push by food and media interests against the controversial guidelines ...Continue reading
Food and media companies lobby to weaken guidelines on marketing food to children
A major lobbying push by a powerful group of food and media companies appears to be working, with a federal agency indicating it would back off on parts of proposed voluntary guidelines for marketing food to children. The guidelines are meant to combat childhood obesity.
Also, language in a pending congressional spending bill, one of several that Congress must approve before the end of the year to keep the government running, threatens to prohibit the agency, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), from issuing a final version of the nutritional guidelines at all without doing a cost-benefit analysis first.
Big companies ...Continue reading
Senators grilling FTC commissioner on obesity guidelines took campaign money from industry
When Jon Leibowitz faced a Senate committee yesterday afternoon for a hearing on his renomination as commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), he got a grilling from several Senators, Democrats and Republicans alike, on a controversial issue: the agency’s proposed guidelines on advertising food to children, meant to help in the fight to reduce childhood obesity.
All of these senators have taken substantial sums in campaign contributions from food industry and media interests that have been lobbying against the proposed guidelines, which the food industry has charged go too far.
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, asked Leibowitz if ...Continue reading