Writing about a recently released progress report on food marketed to children by the (ethically questionable and politically slanted) Institute of Medicine (IOM), Nestle ponders why after the IOM gave the food industry “two years to cease and desist” before “regulation should be considered,” the food industry persists in advertising it’s products.
Nestle seems to undertand, to some degree, the economics of the issue when she says “…those pesky freemarket system goals. Food companies cannot stop marketing junk foods to kids because the foods are profitable and their job as publicly traded companies is to grow profits every quarter.”
But Nestle has no sympathy for these companies and the fact that the individuals who work for these companies rely on growing profits every year. That economic reality seems to slip right past her when she concludes that the very notion that companies need to grow profits is “why federal regulation is essential.”
Nestle’s answer to the world’s ills will always be government. She sees nothing absurd about her calls for government involvement when there’s a far less costly solution to the so-called problem of food marketing to children: How about parents simply turn off the television. That seems a far easier way to limit children’s exposure to food images.
But that solution calls on strong parenting, self control, and personal responsibility–concepts as lost on Nestle as companies making profits.