Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Why not stop junk food advertisements to children?

First amendment concerns provide one of the strongest arguments for permitting junk food advertisements to children. According to this argument,* we may not like these advertisements as parents, but in a free country, we shouldn't ask the government to restrict free speech as the remedy.

Here, in a recent speech, is what Marion Nestle offers in response to that argument.
I have trouble with this first amendment argument. I imagine back to our forefathers who wrote the first amendment sitting around a table saying, “how are we going to guarantee freedom of speech for people who have diverse religious beliefs?” They were NOT sitting around that table saying, “how can we defend the right of makers of junky cereals to market their products to kids?” I think we have a real problem with this. Some lawyers should take a look at the first amendment and start using it for what it was for.

*Slight edit 9/15: made more clear that I am summarizing an argument, not stating my view.

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