Submission Number: 00209
Received: 6/21/2011 1:11:07 PM
Commenter: Laura Chavoen
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Initiative: Preliminary Proposed Nutrition Principles to Guide Industry Self-Regulatory Efforts; Project No. P094513
Attachments: No Attachments
To Whom It May Concern:
Imagination Publishing submits these Comments to object to the Interagency Working Group’s proposal. Imagination is a custom publishing and content company. We have serious concerns about the proposal, because we believe that it would have a chilling effect on commercial speech.
While the Working Group has styled its proposal as “voluntary,” in reality, the food companies affected by the proposed marketing restrictions would actually be forced into compliance. The food companies impacted by this proposal are heavily regulated in other areas by the same agencies that make up the Working Group, which will make disregarding their “voluntary” guidance nearly impossible. Moreover, the coordinated negative publicity that continues to be generated by these agencies about the products subject to the proposal makes non-compliance an untenable position from a public-relationship perspective, not to mention opening up companies to class-action lawsuits.
If adopted, the Proposal would set an unacceptable precedent for restricting speech in a way that is arguably immune from First Amendment challenge. Food products are the target now, but if this approach is successful, it will open the door for attacks on other products that the government finds objectionable. This is a serious and real threat to companies’ ability to lawfully inform consumers about their products that must be nipped in the bud.
The Working Group’s proposal should not be adopted.