Markey Asks Nestlé To Join Anti-Obesity Initiative

Nestlé Joined Similar Group In Canada.

Ed Markey (D-Mass.) has called on Nestlé to join 13 other major food manufacturers in the Council of Better Business Bureau's Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative…or else.

Under pressure from Washington as well as in recognition of the growing obesity problem, those companies agreed to take steps to limit the marketing of snack foods to kids and to promote healthier diets, including making their own foods healthier, as well as more exercise.

Nestlé was not one of those companies, but has now joined Canada's version of the initiative, says Markey, which prompted Monday's renewed call in a letter for the company to do the same in the U.S. ""I am puzzled why Nestlé can pledge to cut back on junk food marketing in Canada but not in the United States," he said.

Then came the “or else.” Markey also took the opportunity to invoke the specter of government regulation. He said the absence of one of the world's biggest food companies from the U.S. self-regulatory effort "raises the question of whether voluntary industry action will be sufficient to address food marketing to children..."

Markey, chairman of the House Telecommunications & Internet Subcommittee is the author of a long-standing bill that limits advertising in kids shows, and has said that the FCC should step in if industry does not do enough to limit food marketing to kids.