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Government Agencies Release Proposed Voluntary Principles for Foods Marketed to Children

Thursday, April 28, 2011

(American Meat Institute)

A government working group consisting of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today released for public comment a set of proposed voluntary principles that the agencies urge be used by industry as a guide for marketing food to children and adolescents. 

The guidelines suggest that by the year 2016, all food products within certain categories most heavily marketed directly to children and adolescents aged 2-17 should meet two basic nutrition principles: 1) Foods marketed to children should provide a meaningful contribution to a healthful diet and 2)  Foods marketed to children should be formulated to minimize the content of nutrients that could have a negative impact on health or weight. 

The working group recommends that foods marketed to children should not contain more than the following amounts of saturated fat, trans fat, sugar, and sodium:

• Saturated Fat: 1 g or less per RACC and 15% or less of calories
• Trans Fat: 0 g per RACC
• Added Sugars: No more than 13 g of added sugars per RACC
• Sodium: No more than 210 mg per serving

“To their credit, some of the leading companies are already reformulating products and rethinking marketing strategies to promote healthier foods to kids. But we all have more work to do before we can tip the scales to a healthier generation of children,” said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz in a press release.  “This proposal encourages all food marketers to expand voluntary efforts to reduce kids’ waistlines.”

A fact sheet about the Interagency Working Group’s proposal and principles can be found at: http://ftc.gov/os/2011/04/110428foodmarketfactsheet.pdf

According to their press release, the FTC has posted a request for comments on the proposed principles to its website. Interested parties will have 45 days to comment, during which time the working group will hold a half-day forum to provide stakeholders with a chance to comment in person. The forum will take place on Tuesday, May 24 in Washington, D.C

To read the Request for Comments and instructions on how to file comments, visit:  http://ftc.gov/os/2011/04/110428foodmarketproposedguide.pdf.

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