Coke Cans Weber Shandwick, Cries over Spilt Milk

got milk? logoThe Coca-Cola Company has terminated a 15-year long working relationship with the global PR firm Weber Shandwick. The makers of Coke objected to the PR firm helping run a campaign for the Milk Processors Education Program (MilkPEP), a project funded by dairy companies.


U.S. Agency Gives Vinyl Industry a Pass on Lunch Box Lead Content

Kids' vinyl lunch boxes often contain dangerous levels of lead, but government regulators have released to the public only the test results most favorable to industry, according to documents the Associated Press obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request. The Consumer Product Safety Commission found that 20 percent of boxes tested in 2005 contained unsafe amounts of lead--and several contained more than 10 times the safety level.


President Calls on America to "Cope" With Child Obesity

President Bush described child obesity as "a costly problem for the country" and called for strategies to "help folks...cope with the issue" as he met with executives from McDonald's, Kraft, PepsiCo and other companies that market food products to children.


BBC: Drug Firm and U.S. Doctor Consulted on Media Message for Antidepressant

A University of Pittsburgh child psychiatrist who conducted company-sponsored clinical trials on adolescent use of the antidepressant Paxil also conferred with the company on how to respond to press inquiries challenging the safety of the drug for adolescents, reports the BBC investigative program, Panorama. The psychiatrist, Dr. Neal Ryan, sent emails to GlaxoSmithKline dating to 2002 requesting media advice.


Four Years Later, McDonald's Again Nixes Trans Fats

Four years ago, McDonald's voluntarily announced that it would cut artery-clogging trans fats, the ingredient listed as "partially hydrogenated vegetable oil" that is used to cook french fries and many other products throughout the fast food industry.


FCC's TV/Child Obesity Task Force Adds Members, Sets Valentine's Day Meeting

The Federal Communications Commission has added junk food marketing critic Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), the Benton Foundation (an FCC watchdog), and several academic groups to a list of mostly industry advocates on an FCC task force slated to consider limits on marketing food and beverage products to children. Sen.


U.K. Food Labeling Scuffle Hits Screen

Multinational food marketing giants, including Unilever, Coca-Cola, Kellogg and Danone have helped fund an $8 million industry ad campaign to sway consumers to "know what's going inside you"--but not necessarily to do anything about it.


Sen. Harkin Hearkens: Junk Food Marketing "Out of Control"

The new Congress is likely to put new and stronger emphasis on limiting junk food marketing, say aides to U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa. Harkin becomes chair of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee in 2007. His aides report that food marketing to children "will be one of our top tier agenda items." In recent years, Harkin futilely has sought to push through legislation toughening Federal Trade Commission authority to regulate junk food marketing.



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