Just before the “slime wave” hit, I was in the middle of a draft TLT post analyzing a scholarly article proposing that tighter restrictions on the advertising of junk food to kids are not barred by the First Amendment, a key defense offered by the food industry against such restrictions.
As a former lawyer — even, at one time, a food advertising lawyer for a huge conglomerate — and as someone who has written extensively on industry regulation in this area (see, “Fox Guards Henhouse: Industry’s ‘Self-Regulation’ of Children’s Food Advertising” and all the related posts linked thereto), this is something I wanted to think and write about in depth.
Well, it looks like I’ve been scooped today by Mark Bittman who has his own “Opinionator” piece in the New York Times on this question. It’s definitely worth a read.
Bittman seems to accept the premise of the scholarly piece that the First Amendment poses no bar to greater regulation. If after I finish my own analysis I have nothing more to add, I’ll just give you a quick “What he said.” If not, I’ll share my own post with you as planned.
On a personal note, I was taken aback to see that my much beloved, former-Harvard Law School constitutional law professor Kathleen Sullivan (the kind of prof who kept you enraptured for an entire class) was hired to represent the food industry’s views on the issue. But I suppose I can’t take Professor Sullivan to task until I’ve had a chance to evaluate her arguments.
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