A group of major food companies, including General Mills, ConAgra Foods and Kellogg, have announced that they will be voluntarily setting new advertising standards in order to cut back on marketing unhealthy foods to children. This comes after rejecting similar guidelines proposed by the federal government.
Under these new self-imposed standards, the food companies can still market their products to children, but only if they meet specific nutritional criteria. If they still want to market to children, some foods may have to make their ingredients more healthful.
“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,” said Elaine Kolish of the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative, a group formed by the food industry.
Government efforts to make changes was what spurred these voluntary changes. Congress asked the Federal Trade Commission and other government agencies to devise voluntary guidelines for marketing unhealthy food to children.
While the food companies were not happy with the changes proposed by the government, saying the standards were too broad and would even limit marketing foods like yogurt and cereals, FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz was happy with the guidelines proposed by the food industry.
“The industry’s uniform standards are a significant advance, and are exactly the type of initiative the commission had in mind when we started pushing for self-regulation more than five years ago… we applaud industry for making healthy progress,” he said.
(via: Huffington Post)
September 16th, 2011