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Stop Deadly Corporate Marketing to Children

Commercial Alert, June 23, 2004

1. Stop deadly corporate marketing to children
2. Media literacy conference

1. Stop deadly corporate marketing to children

Yesterday, U.S. Senator Tom Harkin introduced an excellent bill to help stop
the commercial assault on our children ­ especially by junk food and tobacco

The bill would help reduce the incidence of marketing-related diseases in
our children, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and the millions of kids who
will die from tobacco-related illnesses when they grow older.

It could even help stop companies from prodding kids to nag and throw
tantrums for products.

Sen. Harkin¹s bill is called the HeLP (Healthy Lifestyles and Prevention)
America Act of 2004. The bill isn¹t perfect, but it has many outstanding
provisions, including:

* Eliminating the federal tax deductibility of tobacco advertising.

* Restoring the authority of the Federal Trade Commission to enact rules
to protect children from advertisers who take advantage of their vulnerable
and trusting natures.

* Giving the Secretary of Agriculture the authority to (1) restrict the
sale of junk food in schools and (2) prohibit advertising of food in schools
participating in the School Lunch or Breakfast programs.

* Granting the Food and Drug Administration the authority to regulate
tobacco to safeguard public health.

* Requiring chain restaurants to provide basic nutrition information.

That's pretty bold stuff for a bill in Congress. Senators are usually much
more timid, because our corrupt campaign finance system keeps them that way.

No doubt that the tobacco, junk food and advertising industries will do all
they can to stop the bill from ever becoming law. That¹s why we need your
help today ­ to stand up for the idea that our children¹s health is more
important than corporate profits.

What you can do
1) Contact your U.S. Senators today. Ask your them to support Sen.
Harkin¹s bill (S. 2558). To send an email to your U.S. Senators, click here: The congressional switchboard phone is
2) Forward this email to friends, family, parents, grandparents and
colleagues, and ask them to act on it.

For more information about Sen. Harkin¹s bill, here are two fact sheets
about it at:

Or read the text of the bill at:

For more information about restoring the authority of FTC to protect
children from corporate advertisers who would exploit them, see:

For more information about childhood obesity and the marketing of junk food in schools, see:

2. Media literacy conference

There is an excellent conference for media educators and activists coming up
this Fourth of July weekend in San Francisco.

Much of the media literacy movement has been corrupted by corporate
contributions from media companies. This conference is a fine chance to
catch up with some of the best non-corrupt media literacy activists and
experts in the country, including:

Amy Goodman of Democracy Now
Stan Glantz of Smoke Free Movies
Bob McCannon of New Mexico Media Literacy Project
Sut Jhally of the Media Education Foundation
Frank Vespe of the TV-Turnoff Network
Lt. Colonel Dave Grossman of the Killology Research Group

(and I'll be giving the closing keynote address)

For more information about the conference, see:

About Commercial Alert
Commercial Alert is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to
keep the commercial culture within its proper sphere, and to prevent it from
exploiting children and subverting the higher values of family, community,
environmental integrity and democracy. For more information, go to

Commercial Alert's materials are distributed via our email list. To
subscribe, go to, or send a
blank message to Subscribers receive 1-2
emails per week, at most.