The Children's Food and Beverage
Advertising Initiative (CFBAI) last week unveiled its new guidelines for food
marketing to kids, which it says will require food companies to reformulate
approximately a third of the products they advertise to kids if they want to
continue to do so.
Federal Trade Commission Chairman
Jon Leibowitz had signaled at a Hill hearing the week before that the new
industry guidelines would be forthcoming, and gave them a shout-out at that
time, saying they should be factored into whatever final recommendation comes
out of interagency working group, which proposed even tougher food marketing
guidelines in April.
The industry response came in comments on those guidelines.
Under the new guidelines, agreed
to by the 17 members of the initiative representing most of the biggest names
in food marketing, "most" sweetened cereals will have to have no more
than 10 grams of added sugars rather than the current 12 grams that had been
the general standard. Another example is canned pastas will have to have 600 mg
of sodium or less to be advertised in kids shows, rather than the current CFBAI
standard of 750.
The industry guidelines also set
new limits for sugars, sodium and saturated fats in juices, dairy products,
fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, main dishes and entrees.
The Council of Better Business
Bureaus, which oversees the CFBAI, called it "a groundbreaking agreement
that will change the landscape of what is advertised to kids by the nation's
largest food and beverage companies."
The Center for Science in the
Public Interest was not so sanguine. "[The guidelines] are a transparent
attempt to undermine the stronger standards proposed by the government's
Interagency Working Group," said CSPI on
its Web site.
Companies that signed on to the
new limits are Burger King Corp.; Cadbury Adams USA LLC; Campbell Soup Company;
The Coca-Cola Company; ConAgra Foods, Inc.; The Dannon Company; General Mills,
Inc.; The Hershey Company; Kellogg Company; Kraft Foods Global, Inc.; Mars,
Incorporated; McDonald's USA, LLC; Nestlé USA; PepsiCo, Inc.; Post Foods, LLC;
Sara Lee Corporation and Unilever United States.