A battle is heating up between public health advocates and corporations that use the First Amendment as a legal defense. I’ve posted on this before concerning pharmaceutical data mining and tobacco (additional NEJM commentary here).
The Interagency Working Group on Food Marketed to Children includes the USDA, FDA, FTC and the CDC. They are drafting VOLUNTARY guidelines for industry (prior TIE coverage on the IWG and obesity here). Some junk food lobbyists are
waiving waving the First Amendment, claiming the guidelines won’t be voluntary and will therefore infringe on their freedom to sell Twinkies to toddlers. (That must be why we fought the American Revolution).
A group of law professors just published an open letter to the IWG dismissing this constitutional argument. Just 2 pages of text, uncharacteristically brief for law professors. I signed the letter as well.