In yesterday’s Human Events, Congressional Correspondent Audrey Hudson examined how far the tentacles of the feds’ new food regulations will reach–impacting not just food companies but other industries as well:  

It’s not just the food industry that will be impacted. Hundreds of television shows that depend on the advertising revenue, such as the Nickelodeon Channel, ESPN, and programs including “American Idol” will be affected, critics of the proposal say-at a cost of $5.8 trillion in marketing expenditures that support up to 20 million American jobs.

If the food is not reformulated, no more ads or promotions on TV, radio, in print, on websites, as well as other digital advertising such as e-mail and text messaging, packaging, and point-of-purchase displays and other in-store marketing tools; product placement in movies, videos, video games, contests, sweepstakes, character licensing and toy branding; sponsorship of events including sport teams and individual athletes; and, philanthropic activity tied to branding opportunities.

That includes softball teams that are sponsored by food companies and school reading programs sponsored by restaurants. 

Won’t little Johnnie be thrilled when his summer baseball is cancelled due to his team losing the local pizza shop sponsorship? 

Hmm…and I thought we were supposed to be encouraging children’s physical activity.  But not to worry, I’m sure Michelle Obama will launch some sort of government-run “sponsor a kid’s baseball team” initiative.

While Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg like to say “these are voluntary suggestions” and that they are “going to continue to have a robust conversation” industry simply doesn’t treat this as just helpful suggestions.  Hudson writes:  

The “Interagency Working Group on Food Marketed to Children, Preliminary Proposed Nutrition Principles to Guide Industry Self-Regulation Efforts” says it is voluntary, but industry officials say the intent is clear: Do it, or else.

“When regulators strongly suggest a course of action, it’s treated as a rule, not a suggestion,” said Scott Faber, vice president of federal affairs for the Grocery Manufacturers Association. “Industry tends to heed these suggestions from our regulators, and this administration has made it clear they are willing to regulate if we don’t implement their proposal.”