Submission Number: 00243
Received: 7/2/2011 12:13:12 PM
Commenter: Phillip Bohall
Organization: Ben Franklin Park HOA
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Initiative: Preliminary Proposed Nutrition Principles to Guide Industry Self-Regulatory Efforts; Project No. P094513
Attachments: No Attachments
Regarding advertising to the kiddies:
After many years of interpreting the First Amendment and deciding whether or not something was commercial speech, or religious speech, or private speech, or "foreign" speech ~ I think I know the answer ~ YUP, it violates the First Amendment.
BTW(That was as a Senior Mail Classification Analyst at USPS Office of Mail Classifiction ~ among other items I wrote the Domestic Mail Manual, Administrative Support Manual, and Postal Operations Manual ~ and answered tens of thousands of pieces of correspondence regarding those documents)
I note for the record that the courts have always provided an exception for "commercial speech". It can be regulated, but only regarding truthfulness.
Everybody else can lie through their teeth because it's protected "opinion". Assertions of performance about a product, service or other commercial element can and are regulated under that doctrine.
Justice Thomas and I seem to be the only two people in the country who think it's BS ~ the market place quickly tosses out those who lie too much about their products, and politicians get to lie all the time.
So, what we have currently is a situation where Tony The Tiger can be regulated regarding what he says about cereal, and if it's truthful, that's OK.
This proposal, though, is not about truthful statements concerning products ~ it's about the nature of the product itself, and the regulators want us to believe that it is BAD and UNHEALTHFUL and DANGEROUS ~
Current law doesn't allow you to regulate truthful speech just because the item being advertised is bad for you. After all, some things are OK for most people, but not all.
The FTC, et al will need to go to (a Republican) Congress to get enabling legislation for this (not likely), and even if they had it they'd have to run it by the Supreme Court.
It's not likely the Supreme Court is going to be able to change current law. The women on the would fear change; the Republicans will stand by protecting the rights of commercial enterprise to advertise, and Judge Thomas would vote to remove ALL speech restrictions.
That'd leave the vote 8 to 1 against whatever you want to do.
Now, something more serious. This is a highly diverse country with people from everywhere. Inherited allergies that are rare most everywhere turn out to be more common here. They are all too easily overlooked by sheltered folk who spend their mornings eating shredded wheat with low fat milk while reading the New York Times.
I'll guarantee that not a single member of that "group" has or even knows someone with Celiac/Wheat Gluten Intolerance, or Lactose Intolerance.
If they want foods heavily marketed to children (bread, cereal, twinkies) to make a meaningful contribution to a healthful diet and minimize content that could have a negative impact, they'll need to prohibit the marketing of bread, cereal and other grain products containing wheat, barley or rye, AND anything with dairy or dairy byproduct!
That would include, BTW, MILK.
It's an insane ambition not practicable in the United States today, or in the future.
This sort of nonsense makes me doubt the educational credentials of the people who inhabit such "groups".
I can never eat shredded wheat, or wheaties, or drink a beer. Drinking milk is among the sort of thing I avoid like the plague.
There are about 30 million of us in this country and YOU PEOPLE want to worry about Tony The Tiger ~ how about demanding BETTER MARKINGS on products ~ tell me how poisonous it is ~ me and my kids will live better, and healthier lives.