Friday, June 15, 2007

They were G-r-r-r-r-e-a-t!

Item:

The Center for Science in the Public Interest and the Campaign for a
Commercial-Free Childhood
is says it won't file suit against Kellogg after the company agreed to adopt nutrition standards for the food it advertises to kids and take other steps, including pledging not to put any product placements in any media targeted to kids under 12.

The groups had threatened to file suit against the company and Viacom for "directly harming kids' health since the overwhelming majority of food products they market to children are high in sugar, saturated and trans fat, or salt, or almost devoid of nutrients."

Josh Golin, a spokesman for CCFC, said that all options were still on the table regarding Viacom, and that a suit was "Very possible." While Kellogg approached the groups early on about settling, Viacom has not, said Golin.

So what we see here is Kellogg being fearful of a litigious society and the penchant of juries to hit companies with deep pockets hard! Imagine: a cereal company advertising a sweet cereal to kids!! How did we ever let this happen?

As I pointed out in a similar discussion months ago, I grew up in front of the TV, no doubt watching more than what my parents would have preferred. I knew the character Sugar Bear (who preceded Diggum for you young'ins) used to love his Super Sugar Crisp cereal -- imagine that! They used to use the word 'sugar' in the product's name!!

Quisp, Quake, Cap'n Crunch (Smedley's Peanut butter Crunch was a personal fav), we had them all. Well, not all. Mom drew the line at anything called 'cereal' that had marshmallows in them; that was right out.

Speaking of marshmallows...

But that's the point; Mom and Dad drew a line. I can still recite the words to Barry Manilow's You Deserve a Break Today and can probably do the dance steps like the old commercial well enough to earn praise from Drew Carey. Yet, I never got to go to fast-food more than once or twice a month. My 4 year old, like his older brother before him, always points at McDonald's, Burger King or Wendy's and says he wants to stop there. The answer? No. Unless it's one of those times when mom or I know a regular lunch is out of the question, the answer is no. What is so hard about that? And while my kids do get some sugary cereal, they also get Cheerios and Kix and others that aren't sweet. (As a side note: teaching kids when they're young that parents can and do say 'no' from time to time helps keep them from growing up to be spoiled brats).

Why is it that lawsuits (or merely the threats of them) are directing what is being sold, and not the Law of Supply and Demand?

How is it that Viacom should be responsible for what MY kids eat? Does Sumner Redstone buy the groceries in my house, or do my-better-half and I buy them?

Just because Kelloggs makes stuff that has no nutrition, why are they blamed instead of the parents who buy it?

Who appointed CFCC as guardian of anyone's child, much less mine??

If parents held the reins on what kids eat, where they go, what they spend money on, there would be a whole lot less need for lawsuits and the like.

Bottom line: Who is in charge in your house, the parents or the kids?

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