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FTC Forum to Review Impact of Food Marketing on Children

Dec 11, 2009

Demonstrating the Obama administration's continued focus on ways to combat childhood obesity, the Federal Trade Commission will host a public forum next week to discuss food marketing to children. Industry representatives, federal regulators, consumer groups, researchers and legal scholars have been invited to review current research on the impact of food advertising on children and the issues surrounding government regulation of food marketing.

The scheduled forum follows closely on the heels of a U.S. House bill introduced last month that would give authority to FTC and two other federal agencies to oversee food and beverage commercials. The Healthy Kids Act, introduced by Reps. Jim Moran (D-VA) and Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), proposes to give FTC the authority to ban ads, limit others and determine when food and beverage ads could be considered an unfair trade practice.

In addition, the act would establish an Office of Childhood Overweight and Obesity Prevention within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Read the full proposed act here. In general, FTC, HHS and the Federal Communications Commission would be tasked with winnowing out ads for foods and beverages "which do not contribute to a healthful diet for children and adolescents and the consumption of which is discouraged."

IDFA Vice President Cary Frye plans to attend the forum, which will be held December 15. A live webcast will be accessible that morning at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/workshops/sizingup/index.shtml. The forum is scheduled to run from 8:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern time.

Members with questions may contact Frye at cfrye@idfa.org.

 
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