Submission Number: 00014
Received: 4/29/2011 7:17:56 PM
Commenter: Peter Mains
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Initiative: Preliminary Proposed Nutrition Principles to Guide Industry Self-Regulatory Efforts; Project No. P094513
Attachments: No Attachments
What you are doing by crafting guidelines for the marketing of children's breakfast cereal is unethical for the following reasons.
- You Are Eroding Personal Responsibility
The FTC, by stepping into a role properly occupied by parents is eroding our culture of personal responsibility. You are saying to parents that you will take an active role in restricting or shaping the content that their children view. This sends a terrible message about the role of government, which is corrosive of personal responsibility. There are many dangers which adults face in the world regardless of the diligence of bureaucrats. The more we attempt to (metaphorically) put citizens into protective bubble wrap, the less likely said citizens will be able to deal with more serious issues. In short, you are encouraging dependence and discouraging independent thought.
- You Are Engaging in Censorship
Commercial advertising is not magical. It is communication, expression. We have blanket protection in our Constitution for free expression. Current jurisprudence holds that commercial speech is not protected, but you should hold yourselves to a higher standard of integrity by respecting the actual meaning of the Constitution. Free expression is not to be suppressed by government.
- Using Tax Dollars to Fund Propaganda is Immoral
Even if coercion is not used to force food marketers to change their advertising, my tax dollars support your endeavors. As such, I am paying to propagandize myself into eating healthfully. Every letter you send in my name to persuade, embarrass, harass or threaten the makers of cereals or candy is an immoral misappropriation of public funds. In my opinion, redirecting public funds to political causes should be a criminal offense.