ABC, CBS Complain Cereal Killing Isn't Enough

Eleven companies announced on July 18 to self-regulate and stop advertising to children under 12 in order to "help curb the child obesity problem."But that wasn't enough for ABC "World News with Charles Gibson" or CBS "Evening News." Both shows supplied food fascists to complain that even this change isn't going to be enough."Today’s changes are getting a lot of attention, but as American children face an epidemic of obesity, will these changes really make a difference?” wondered “World News with Charles Gibson” anchor Elizabeth Vargas on July 18.The companies that voluntarily chose to restrict marketing were Coca-Cola, Hershey, Kraft, Campbell's, General Mills, Pepsi, McDonald's, Unilever and a few others. But instead of praise from pro-regulatory groups, ABC and CBS found criticism. The programs cited left-wing food police like Elaine Kolish the "new cop on the childhood obesity beat," according to Brandweek, Marion Nestle and CSPI's Margo Wootan.But ABC's Dan Harris also got in on the act, lamenting "loopholes" as a clever image of Fruit Loops cereal filled the screen. He worried that the agreement doesn't affect packaging and "packaging is powerful."On "Evening News," Nestle stated, "Oh, the loopholes are enormous. The companies have made these kinds of promises before."Sadly, if the food police and the media get its way Trix won't be for kids anymore.Just last month, Kellogg's caved to demands when the Consumer for Science in the Public Interest and Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood threatened to sue the company. The media cheered the decision. 

Julia A. Seymour
Julia A. Seymour
Julia A. Seymour is the Assistant Managing Editor for the MRC's Business and Media Institute.