June 24th, 2004

Stop deadly corporate marketing to children

By Gary Ruskin
Commercial Alert

Yesterday, U.S. Senator Tom Harkin introduced an excellent bill to help stop the commercial assault on our children especially by junk food and tobacco companies.

The bill would help reduce the incidence of marketing-related diseases in our children, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and the millions of kids who will die from tobacco-related illnesses when they grow older.

It could even help stop companies from prodding kids to nag and throw tantrums for products.

Sen. Harkin֒s bill is called the HeLP (Healthy Lifestyles and Prevention) America Act of 2004.  The bill isnt perfect, but it has many outstanding provisions, including:

  • Eliminating the federal tax deductibility of tobacco advertising.
  • Restoring the authority of the Federal Trade Commission to enact rules to protect children from advertisers who take advantage of their vulnerable and trusting natures.
  • Giving the Secretary of Agriculture the authority to (1) restrict the sale of junk food in schools and (2) prohibit advertising of food in schools participating in the School Lunch or Breakfast programs.
  • Granting the Food and Drug Administration the authority to regulate tobacco to safeguard public health.
  • Requiring chain restaurants to provide basic nutrition information.
ThatҒs pretty bold stuff for a bill in Congress.  Senators are usually much more timid, because our corrupt campaign finance system keeps them that way.

No doubt that the tobacco, junk food and advertising industries will do all they can to stop the bill from ever becoming law.  Thats why we need your help today Җ to stand up for the idea that our childrens health is more important than corporate profits.

What you can do1) Contact your U.S. Senators today.  Ask your them to support Sen. HarkinҒs bill (S. 2558).  To send an email to your U.S. Senators, click here: http://actionstudio.org/?go=739.  The congressional switchboard phone is 202.225.3121.2) Forward this email to friends, family, parents, grandparents and colleagues, and ask them to act on it.

BackgroundFor more information about Sen. Harkins bill, here are two fact sheets about it at:http://www.commercialalert.org/HELPbullets.pdfhttp://www.commercialalert.org/WellnessOnepager.pdf

Or read the text of the bill at:http://www.commercialalert.org/Harkin2558.pdf

For more information about restoring the authority of FTC to protect children from corporate advertisers who would exploit them, see:#

For more information about childhood obesity and the marketing of junk food in schools, see:http://www.commercialalert.org/issues/education/junk-foodhttp://www.commercialalert.org/issues/health/childhood-obesity#

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