Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The screaming test: when it hurts, the industry protests.

It is worth noting how the industry reacted to Kelly Brownells call for more regulation, as quoted in the LA Times on July 3.

The Grocery Manufacturers Assn. trade group responded to Brownell's essay in a statement, saying that "confrontation, rather than collaboration, in America’s effort to solve obesity is a recipe for disaster."

The GMA said consumers have "greater access to safe, healthy and affordable food when compared to generations past. That didn’t happen by accident. It happened because food and beverage companies have changed the way they do business."

That has included more than 20,000 new products with fewer calories and less fat, sugar and sodium, the GMA said.

"Those that offer government-mandated bans, restrictions and taxes as the solution to obesity don’t truly understand the nature of the problem and lack the collaborative vision shared by Mrs. [First Lady Michelle] Obama and the vast majority of stakeholders who are working passionately to solve this very important problem," the industry group's statement said.

Brownell said the food industry’s voluntary changes are desirable but not enough. Based on 30 years of experience, he said, collaborating with the food industry will not bring about the necessary changes. Limits on marketing, taxes on such products as sugary beverages and labeling regulation are needed, he said.

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