by Congressman Dennis Kucinich
Washington, Feb 24, 2010
Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today offered the following statement on the address by U.S. Department of Agricultural Secretary Tom Vilsack about the Administration’s priorities for reauthorizing the Child Nutrition Act. In his speech at the National Press Club yesterday, Secretary Vilsack said the administration will seek to end child hunger by 2015 and would ask Congress for $1 billion per year for 10 years to pay for the initiative.
“I strongly support the effort to end child hunger in America. It is a tragedy that any child goes hungry in the world’s wealthiest nation. Ending child hunger by 2015 is an ambitious yet obtainable goal. The cost to our nation, our health and our morality is far greater than the cost of feeding our young. Noble initiatives like this could be funded by HR 4310, which would revoke the tax breaks that companies receive for advertising and marketing junk food and fast food to children.
“HR 4310 would protect American children and ensure that they grow up in a healthier environment while allowing the revenue to be used for a number of healthy child initiatives like ending child hunger.
“According to the Institute of Medicine, in 2004 approximately $10 billion was spent on food advertising directed at children. Plainly stated, marketing to children works. If it didn’t work, they wouldn’t do it. A child’s developing brain is no match for a $10 billion industry that uses the best behavioral and developmental research to create emotional bonds to brands and taste preferences before a child’s ability to distinguish fact from opinion has developed.
“Based on this recent estimate, my bill has the potential to raise literally billions of dollars in revenue to help fund initiatives to promote healthy kids. I look forward to working with Secretary Vilsack and other leaders in Congress and the administration to promote a healthier environment for our children,” said Kucinich.