NEWS RELEASE
For More Information Contact: Gary Ruskin (202)588-7746
For Immediate Release: November 14th, 2006

Food Companies Launch Yet Another Phony Effort Against Childhood Obesity

Following is the statement of Gary Ruskin, executive director of Commercial Alert, about today’s announcement on self-regulation of food marketing to children by Coca-Cola, Kraft, PepsiCo, McDonalds and other food companies, the Council of Better Business Bureaus and the National Advertising Review Council,

“Self-regulation is just another word for letting the fox regulate the chicken coop, which of course leads to dead chickens.  Self-regulation has been a key ingredient in the childhood obesity epidemic. It is the problem, not the solution.  The childhood obesity epidemic will continue until Congress passes tough new laws against marketing to children. Self-regulation is no substitute.”

“Today’s announcement is the freshest sign that the food and advertising industries are deeply afraid of our growing movement, as well as the new Democratic-controlled Congress.”

“Junk food marketers are dreaming if they think they can halt tough new laws against marketing to children.  Eventually, they will be held accountable for their actions, just like the tobacco industry.  We will prevail because children are more important than corporate profits.”

“We call on the next Congress to swiftly pass the Parents’ Bill of Rights, to give parents the legal rights to raise their own children with less corporate interference and subversion.” The Parents’ Bill of Rights is available at http://www.commercialalert.org/pbor.pdf.  A key provision in the Parents’ Bill of Rights is the Children’s Advertising Subsidy Revocation Act, which would revoke the federal tax deduction for advertising to children under 12 years of age.

Commercial Alert is a nonprofit public health and consumer group.  Our mission is “to keep the commercial culture within its proper sphere, and to prevent it from exploiting children and subverting the higher values of family, community, environmental integrity and democracy.” For more information, see http://www.commercialalert.org

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