"With rising rates of childhood obesity and diabetes, you might think that when the federal government convenes a meeting on how food companies market food to kids, talk of how to regulate industry practices might actually be on the agenda. But you'd be wrong," writes Michele Simon. Last week's government conference on food marketing to kids was dominated by the companies themselves. "By conservative estimates, a full two-thirds of the panelists—hand-picked by the FTC and HHS—had financial ties to either the food or advertising industries. To add insult to injury, from the chairman of the FTC on down, nearly every government official who had the chance made clear that regulation of junk food ads aimed at children was not on the table and wouldn't be anytime soon. ... Only a handful of panel slots were allotted to public health or children's advocates. Even then, their voices were drowned out by the likes of PepsiCo and Kraft, who were each given two separate opportunities to speak, an honor not bestowed on anyone else."
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