Prevention Institute's Juliet Sims statement on Joint Congressional Hearing on Interagency Working Group guidelines for food marketing to children
October 12, 2011. "Today, the Interagency Working Group, alongside Big Food lobbyists, food marketing experts and public health researchers provided testimony addressing the Interagency Working Group’s proposed guidelines for food marketing to children. We are deeply disappointed to see the Interagency Working Group (IWG) allow industry pressure to steer it off course and away from reasonable, science-based food marketing guidelines. These guidelines are a critical first step to protect children from targeted marketing of unhealthy foods and give parents’ solid support in their efforts to provide healthy options for their children. Parents and families need the Interagency Working Group and the federal administration to issue guidelines that will encourage industry to help our children eat better—not make it harder.
The concessions telegraphed by today's federal testimony are not in the best interest of our children. The federal agencies that make up the IWG must continue to focus on what we know and what today’s testimony underscored: food marketing to children works; it contributes markedly to children’s poor eating; and industry has done a poor job of regulating itself.
Prevention Institute is calling on IWG and the White House to stand up for our children’s health and America’s families by maintaining full support for the original guidelines. We have a children’s health crisis going on, and junk food marketing plays a central role. Now is not the time to waver in our support for these voluntary guidelines.
Prevention Institute will continue to ask parents and advocates to join the thousands already telling the administration to stand up for children’s health through its “We’re Not Buying It” campaign at www.preventioninstitute.org/notbuyingit."