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National Restaurant Association - Slowdown on marketing-to-kids guidelines?

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Slowdown on marketing-to-kids guidelines?

The head of the Federal Trade Commission suggested this month that his agency may have higher priorities than moving forward with a proposal by the "Interagency Working Group on Food Marketed to Children" that could restrict the food and beverages that restaurants and other companies sell to America's youth.

In response to a question from Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.) during a House Appropriations subpanel hearing earlier this month, FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz suggested his agency may be ready to move on from the sweeping set of "voluntary principles" that the Interagency Working Group proposed for companies that market food to children ages 2 to 17.

The FTC is one of four federal agencies that jointly proposed the principles last April. The proposed guidelines generated more than 29,000 public comments by April, plus a firestorm of controversy in Congress. Childhood obesity and food marketing are important, said Leibowitz, but tight budgets make other projects more important. The National Restaurant Association last July called for the rules to be withdrawn.

The other agencies involved in issuing the proposed principles included the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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