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Going to the Market[ing]



When Federal Trade Commission staff attorney Michelle Rusk spoke about proposed food marketing principles at an obesity conference last week, she proved that even wonky government bureaucrats have a sense of humor.

Rusk is a staffer for the Interagency Working Group on Food Marketed to Children, the coalition of federal agencies that drew up the recently unveiled principles designed to curb the marketing of unhealthy food to children. It’s a boring (and rather long) name, Rusk admitted, adding that she and her fellow IWG employees came up with a nickname: “the Snac Pac.”

Get it?

Kid-approved jokes aside, the Snac Pac’s, er, IWG’s recommendations are a big step forward in the effort to reverse obesity. Astute readers of The Inside Track know that for the past several weeks, has asked our leaders and supporters to speak out in support of the principles — and with less than a week to go before the deadline to comment on, we’re reminding you to take action – and to tell your friends to do the same! 

Of course, many of you already have done just that. Already, just under 10,000 people in the network had written to the IWG urging implementation of the principles! That's amazing.

But the food and beverage industry is putting up a big fight. Speaking alongside Rusk at the 6th Biennial Childhood Obesity Conference last week wasMargo Wootan, a leader who serves as director of nutrition policy for the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Wootan said that even she’s a bit astonished by the industry’s response, noting: “I have not seen this level of industry opposition … in ages.”

That’s why it is so important that you speak out in favor of the principles. The more voices we have supporting these principles, the better the chance that the IWG will implement them. If you’ve already done so, please consider telling a friend to lend their support as well.