WASHINGTON — The Grocery Manufacturers Association, Association of National Advertisers and American Bakers Association are calling for the Interagency Working Group on Food Marketed to Children (IWG) to withdraw its Proposed Nutrition Principles, meant to guide industry in determining which foods are appropriate to market to children.
The groups contend that the rules are too restrictive, inconsistent with federal nutrition standards and would limit marketing of healthy foods including some vegetable juices, soups and yogurt.
“Restrictions would result in extraordinarily dramatic change in food recipes and food marketing without providing any evidence whatsoever that they’d help reduce long term eating habits and in some way reduce obesity,” said Scott Faber, vice president of federal affairs for GMA, during a press call with members of the ANA and ABA Thursday.
Though voluntary in nature, media companies will be asked to avoid advertising not aligned with the principles, and non-compliance will be viewed as a signal that mandatory regulation is needed, according to the American Frozen Food Institute, which testified before a federal interagency work group that the principles would harm efforts to improve childhood nutrition.
The guidelines were released last month by IWG which includes representatives from the Federal Trade Commission, Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Guidelines apply to packaging, point of sale displays, sponsorship of charitable events and even the shape of foods such as animal crackers.