First Amendments Not Violated By Food Marketing Guidelines According to Law Professors
A group of law professors urged the heads of Food & Drug Administration, the Federal Trade Commission, and other key government officials not to withdraw their proposed food marketing guidelines, which have been heavily condemned by food and media companies.
Around three dozen law professors from different Ivy League schools such as Harvard, Georgetown, Yale, and others, signed and published an “open letter” meant to support the proposed guidelines submitted by different government agencies regarding food marketing.
In the “open letter,” the professors argued that since the proposed guidelines, which were crafted by an interagency working group on food marketing to kids, are voluntary, they are not, “in their current form,” in violation of the First Amendment.
The professors, in their open letter, stated, “The IWG is not requiring loyalty oaths, threatening criminal prosecution, or confiscating real estate, It is not establishing or invoking a legal regime. It is simply following a congressional mandate to issue a report with recommendations based on the agencies’ expert analysis of the relevant facts.”
The media and food industry have been stating that the guidelines violate the First Amendment because of the freeze that it puts on speech as a regulation by proxy through pressure or coercion.
The letter written by these law professors is meant to counter the negative comments of the media and food industry suggesting that the proposed guidelines are in direct contravention of the First Amendment.
The professors also sent a copy of the letter to the White House and asked the Obama administration not to withdraw its support for the guidelines in the face of an intense lobbying against them by the industry.