The food industry submitted its proposal to the government agencies during the open comment period. “We had the benefit of working with top level scientists and nutrition professionals. The agencies didn’t,” Kolish said.
The government appears to be listening. The industry plan received a positive response from FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz.
Even under their own guidelines, member companies will have to reformulate one in three foods currently advertised to kids to meet the first-ever standards that reach across the industry.
“This means that everything from juice drinks, to pasta, to cereals will have to meet the same criteria regardless of which member company makes it,” Kraft’s Davison said. “Ultimately, this will lead to healthier foods advertised to kids.”
The food industry has agreed to voluntarily implement its criteria by December 2013. The government’s proposed rollout is 2016. Kolish said the self-imposed guidelines are so much more realistic that the food companies were willing to agree to the shorter timeline.