tv Politics and Public Policy Today CSPAN November 29, 2016 12:00am-2:01am EST
all those who are coming in, please take your seats. we're going to get started. i'm john baker, i'm filling in for john eastman. john is on another panel in another room at this time. so, at this point, all i'm doing is welcoming you here on behalf of the separation of powers and federalism group of lawyers within the federalist society.
okay. if i could have your attention, please. thank you, everyone. i know that you're enjoying your neighbor's company as we eat our lunch. what i'd like to do now is introduce our keynote speaker for lunch, and when he's done, we'll have a few more minutes for you to converse and introduce yourselves to your neighbors at your tables. we're very honored to have former senator tom harkin with us today as our keynote speaker. i got to know senator harkin when i was on the law faculty in arkansas many, many years ago when i first got involved in food and agricultural law.
and have always appreciated his support since then. and he served on our board, our outside advisory board for our program. and one of the reasons though that i think drew him to our board and to our program wasn't necessarily our relationship or my good looks, it was because he has grandchildren here in los angeles. and i've learned that that connection usually draws people in. but even though i don't know that his biography needs to be read, it's in your program, i do want it highlight a few things. first of all, senator harkin has a very, very long record of public service from congress in the state of iowa to the senate starting in 19 the 0. he retired from the senate in january of 2015.9 the 0. he retired from the senate in january of 2015.the 0. he retired from the senate in january of 2015.he 0. he retired from the senate in january of 2015.e 0. he retired from the senate in
january of 2015. 0. he retired from the senate in january of 2015.0. he retired from the senate in january of 2015. his ability, though it is not listed in his biography, but i will state it, his ability to be a bipartisan advocate to cross-party lines is sorely missed in washington these days. senator harkin is well known for his work with the american disabilities act. in addition to his great work in that area, he has also add great track record with respect to health and food and children. following the death of senator ted kennedy, senator harkin in 2009 became chairman of the senate health education labor and pensions committee, and has made a real trailblazer in combatting obesity. having led efforts to require school districts participating the national school lunch program to establish school wellness policies. and other plans and efforts that led to the 2010 child nutrition
bill and healthy hunger kids act. he also worked very closely over the years with the ftc, which was discussed in our previous panel and has commissioned reports and studies and has pressed the industry to adopt uniform system wide age appropriate guidelines for food marketing to children. there is -- as you can probably tell, senator harkin is a waealh of information and is a walking historian when it comes to these issues. there's no one who knows the politics and that was referenced in both panels. the politics involved in food policy and food law. there's no one who knows the politics of food and health better than senator harkin. and he's, again, very gracious of him to be here with us and to share with us, not only the history but also his vision for moving forward. what i think is really
important. and if you know senator harkin, he is about walking the talk, not just talking. and he has a wonderful center that houses his library in des moines, iowa, drake university. i was just there a few weeks ago and met with his staff. and i'm very impressed with their vision and what they are trying to accomplish and what it was like it visit with them. and so he is still looking ahead. still moving forward and looking at health and wellness in schools and in the workplace and all of the activities that he is involved in. sew may be retired but he's not really retired. so senator harkin, on behalf of this audience and your grandchildren, we're happy to have you today and would like to welcome you up to the podium. [ applause ] >> thank you very much, michael. let me just reinterpret what he
said. he said that i'm a walking historian. what that really means is he's an old guy. he's been around a long time. but thank you, michael, for the kind introduction. thank you for your friendship for so many, many years. and for your leadership here of the of the resnick program here in l.a. and thank you to mr. and mrs. resnick for establishing the program here at ucla and what i know of you personally, linda, your support for health and wellness in all of its capacity and of all of its different venues around the country. so stewart resnick, thank you very much for your generosity. [ applause ] an honor to be here with so many people that i do admire like stewart and michael and kelly,
whom i've followed forsome years. his leadership back when we were always trying to do things and calling upon him for his expertise and of course michael jacobson with center for science in the public interest. again, always on the cutting edge. always giving us good guidance and direction on how to go. jacob with harvard and marlene schwartz. just so many people that i've admired for so long and still do for all the great work that you do. and thanks for asking me to be a part of this program today. so i'll try to talk for just a few minutes. but like an historian, i tend to get side tracked and get off on to little stories and things like this. let me just start by saying
this, america is in the grips of a massive child abuse scandal. america is in the grips of a massive child abuse scandal. threatening the future of millions of unsuspecting kids. everyday. these perpetrators come into our homes and schools. as we now know they are on our iphones. on social media. internet. talking directly to children and tempting them into risky behavior. threatening their future. and parents are all but helpless to stop it. child abuse, well, what else do you call it? when the junk food industry spends $12 billion bombarding kids with tens of thousands of ads each year, for everything
from monster thick burgers with 1420 calories he and 107 grams of fat, to 20-ounce koeks and pepsis, 12 to 15 teaspoons of sugar, feeding an epidemic of child obesity. what else do you call it? when obese children as young as 10 are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes which previously had an onset age of about 40. well, that's what i call it, child abuse. it's estimated that children ages 6 to 11 -- well you know these figures, halfage of 28 hours a week watching tv. exposed to 20,000 ads a year. and as many as 21 fast-food ads everyday. centers for disease control and prevention, by the way, used to
be called the center for disease control, and in 19 the 0 i added the word prevention so now it is the center for control and prevention. [ applause ] oh, just an aside. anyway, cdcp in 2015 said that in -- in 2015, obese children are twice what it was 30 years ago. and we know the same is happening in other places according to world health organization. less than 1% of kids meals combinations at restaurants meet nutritional standards. less than 1%. and just 3% meet the industries own, and you heard about this earlier, the children's food and beverage advertising initiative, just 3% meets their own
standards and they're touted kids live well nutrition standards. 3% in restaurants. now you can get all this from the rudd center. here earlier with marlene schwartz who's here, founded by dr. brownel. you can get a lot of good information from the rudd center. fast-food marketing, via social media and mobile devices are growing expo tnentially. aimed at hispanic youth. i will have a little bit more to say about that. a lot has been sbaid about self-regulation. we have to go to the industry and get self-regulation. well, the children's food and beverage advertising initiative of 2007, get this, just one aspect of it, four large candy
companies, mar mars, hershey, kraft and nestle pledged they would not advertise candy product to children. however, there was a 65% increase in candy-related ads in 2011 compared to 2007 before this went into effect. before it was adopted. so how was that? many children are exposed to candy ads during programs. we've seen that earlier. that go to a general audience but that kids watch. what do they do? sure, they agreed not to aim their ads at kids candy but they increased, not quite double, but close to double, the. a ads running on candy on programs they know kids were watching. along with their families. so again, when people talk to me about self regulation, there's
another called karu, it's been a dismal failure. no teeth, nothing they can do. just failure. other countries, usaustralia, european union, canada. they tried to regulate through voluntary efforts also. and quite frankly, most of them have failed miserableably. interesting enough in my research, two most extreme controls on advertising to children regarding food is in norway and quebec, the two. i thought, hmmm, how do they do that? they don't have a constitution to worry about like we do in the united states. so they can do that. what they've done is they remove the legal right to advertise to all children under age 12. there's just no legal right to do that in those countries. and we know.
american psychological association, we know that young children, and you can cut and dice the different ages whether it's 10 or 12 or 14 or whatever. but basically young children are more prone to accept ads as truthful accurate and unbiassed and as we know, the younger they are, the more difficulty they have separating commercials from regular program. and again, we have very few to zero regulations right now basically in the united states. i'll cover a couple of those. i mentioned karu, children's advertising review unit of the council of better business bur roys established in 1974. we tried do stuff with them all the time i was in the house. 70s, 80s, 90s pb nothing p. get nothing done with whatsoever. now again i know we're here talking about food but i also think of it in terms of the broader health policy.
and i have made this statement many times in the past that in america it is easy to be unhealthy and hard to be healthy. easy to be unhealthy, hard to be healthy. that should be changed around. it should be easy to be healthy and harder to be unhealthy. well that comes down to all kind of things. we're building subdivisions without sidewalks so kids can't go out and walk to school. elementary schools being built without a playground. bike and pedestrian lanes. i tried to get this one on a highway bill years ago to say that if you got any federal money, for streets and road, things like that, bridges, you today incorporate, i didn't say you had to do it, i just said you had to incorporate in the design a bike and walking path lane alongside that road. i lost. we still don't have it. but in europe, they do. you build a bridge in europe, it
has to have a bike path lane or new roads. but not yet in america. just the things that again go to providing for exercise and people po be outo be out. we just don't do that in america. and we need to have this as part of our planning process. so people can actually get out, walk, bike, without being afraid of being run over and hit and killed. now one little history thing that i did want to go over because it's been brought up here, aeb that is tnd that is t trade commission. and wai was there when all this happened. that's history. in the 1970s, there were tree entities. action for children's television. michael jacobson's group, center for science in the public interest. and consumers union. all petitioned the federal trade
commission to act on behalf of children aadvertising. to do something about children's advertising. advertising. to do something about children's advertising.advertising. to do something about children's advertising. the commissioner of the fda also weighed in on this and encouraged the ftc to do something about it. michael perchuck was head of the ftc at the time. you should read his book about the revolt against regulation that he public later on. but here's what happened. the federal trade commission put out a notice, i don't have the exact date here, but right around 1977, maybe '76, maybe michael knows. around 1976, '77. >> '78. >> okay. a notice of proposed regulations on regulating advertising to children.
and it would ban all tv ads for any product directed to or seen by ann an audience with significant pro portions of children. banning ads for food causing serious dental health and to be balanced by nutritional or health disclosures. i remember this very well. and boy, congress went nuts. and the industry went nuts. that's the first time i had ever heard the phrase nanny estate. oh, all these speeches on the floor of the house and senators and governments going to take away parental rights. and take the rights away from parents. and give it to this nanny state. and all kinds of ridiculous things like that came out.
in fact in 1978 it became a big issue in the 19778 will campaign. i know, i was running for reelection. and almost got my head handed to me. because i had come out in favor of it. and doing something about advertising to kids. well, i won the election obviously, but i remember being labelled as being in support of the nanny state at that time. so it became a big issue. a lot of people lost election in 1978 because of that. well, for a lot of reasons, but that played a big role in it. people got so scared that when the new congress came in, in 1979, they began to work and have hearings on these proposed regulations. hearings wrought in all the industry and stuff and it just became overwhelming and finally the congress in 1980 passed a
law. passed a law. the ftc improvements act of 1980, congress totally caved. here when a it said in essence, the ftc shall not have any authority to promulgate any rule in this proceedings or any subsequent proceedings dealing with children on the basis of a determination by the commission that such advertising constitutes and unfair act or practice in or effecting congress. now i know some people talked about this earlier. there's basically two prongs that the ftc uses in their regulation of advertising. one prong is deceptive. one prong is unfair. okay. since 1980, the ftc has had more
authority to regulate advertising to you than to your kids and grand kids. let me repeat that. the ftc has more authority to regulate advertising to adults than to kids. now you tell me if that makes sense. but they stripped it. and so, the only problem they can use is deceptive. they can use deceptive or unfair and unfair has different prongs on it too. but they can use deceptive or unfair on adults but only deceptive on kids. as people have pointed out many times, that an ad can be truthful when it's aplayplied t kids but grossly unfair because kids can't understand the difference. so it's just unfair to be able to do this kind of advertising to kids. but we've today live with that ever since. in fact it got to bad that
congress defunded the ftc for some time. took away its authority for 10 or 12 years before it came back. before we were able to get the rea reauthorization and funding back for the ftc. now, why did i tell you all this? because i have in my hearings in the past and if i still have a lot of staff i could have had my show and tell slides and stuff here. but if you look, if you graph, if you graph beginning around 1980, '81, the increase in obesity in children, and you also look at what's happened in our schools because the industry took this as a green light, and it started at that time, there was a little bit before, not much, but right starting about
1980, '81, you started seeing vending machines and all of our schools up and down hallways. you saw more and more companies making exclusive rights with schools. coke and pepsi and things like that. they made exclusive contracts with them. i remember once, oh, 25, 30 years ago, i viceded an elementary school and it was kids a in kinder garden, first grade, sitting on coke chairs. coca-cola chairs. little chairs. red and white with coca-cola on them. this is what the kids sat on everyday. so you chart that and you will see that huge, this increase in junk food in schools and you see the increase for advertisements going to kids in the '80s and you see, you graph the increase in obesity and they just track.
it's erie how they track growing up in the 1980s. well, in the 1990s, some of us tried get soft drinks taken out of schools. we tried several times. but came to nothing. on farm bills and different things like this. and we just -- we just couldn't get it done. so i thought well, maybe there's something else we do. i had a brief, two brief shiny moments, i add brief moment in 2001 and 2 where i became chairman of the senate ag committee. well tim jeffers left to become a democrat just when they were
doing the farm bill. so i thought maybe i can try something here. so you make your deals, right? a lot in the farm bill i didn't like. i todhad to swallow it. i add republican house counterpart and we only had one vote in the senate. democratic vote. so i thought well, i'll try something. maybe can i get something. so i started something called the fresh fruit and vegetable program. fresh fruit and vegetable snack program. and i just took there are$5 mil we started a pilot program with four states. iowa, michigan, ohio and indiana. with 100 schools. 25 schools in a state. and with $5 million to see what would happen if you gave free fresh fruits and vegetables to kids. what would happen. i've been fed up before about,
you know, we have vending machines in schools and kids can get an apple there. kid's got put a buck in the vending machine to buy an apple and they can buy candy? no, of course not. but what would happen if you gave them free fresh fruits and vegetables. so i got that in. this is in 2002 first year was 2003, then 4. a few schools in '03, then 4 and 5. finally got it up. and i have to tell you the administration, i lost my chairmanship in 2002. now i'm back in the minority. and they kept coming after it, trying to destroy this program but i had my appropriations committee and i made my deals that kind of thing and we kept it going. here is what we found. of the hundred schools that came into the program, not one wanted to drop out. they loved it. so thad cochran, senator from
mississippi, heard about this and said how do you get it for mississippi? i said, we can get it for mississippi. and arlen specter wanted it for pennsylvania. by 2006, we brought some more schools in. nor spot. got some more money. found out it was working really well. so then as fate would have it, by 2008, i became chairman again of the ag committee. when it came back again, and now i had a democratic house as well as senate to work with. and so we took the fresh fruit and vegetable program and expanded it and expanded it nationally so today it's in all 50 states and our territory answers at about $175 million year. we changed it somewhat. we learned in the past that high schools weren't that good.
so we limited it to elementary schools and a preference for schools that have a high proportion of free and reduced priced meals in those schools. and so that's going pretty well. and it's kind of now been sort of absorbed and in our schools. of course i'm going to keep pushing for more funding of it. but again, at least it's out there and kids are getting fresh fruit and vegetables. now i will have more to say about that in a second in terms of some problems np in 2004, i was able to put into the wic program, in school nutrition and wic program, called school wellness policies. someone mentioned that. here eat other thing. we should sit every school that gets federal money for school lunch program has to develop a school wellness program. we didn't say what it had to be. just do it. go out and start getting these
policies. you had to have it done by 2006. two years to develop a wellness policy. and do it on the local level. well, some are hit or miss. some are better than others, obviously. but at least they had to start thinking about it. then in 2010 when we had the healthy and hunger kids act passed, i was able to put new pro strigss in there on the wellness policies and in 2014 there was a proposed rule and in 2016 just this june, the final rule went into effect. all local education agencies must comply with this rule by june 30th of next year. and what's good about it is there must be an evaluation done every three years. how they're doing compared to the model. the model wellness policy that's bchb developed. how are they doing compared to that.
so i say to all of you, if you're thinking about what we need to do in the future we need to keep our pressure on these local school district to comply with the law. and every three years to continue to evaluate this. and i just wrote down here, i said, another reason why we need hillary for our next president. anyway -- [ applause ] i mentioned the assault on the fresh fruit and vegetable program. god, drives me nuts. after all this time, fresh fruits and vegetables. and i've been to the schools and see the kids eat these -- i've been to schools where third, fourth, fifth graders have never eaten a fresh pear. didn't even know what the hell it was. i remember one time i i went to a school in ohio and elementary school, grade school, and they
were having kiwi fruit. now i don't know much about kiwi fruit. i tried once. i bought some kiwi fruit and god they were terrible to peel. this is awful to peel. this is ridiculous. not worth it. i'm standing there and grade school kids were at their desk and they all have a kiwi fruit. and a third grader taught me how to eat kiwi fruit. she addshe add plad /* plast --e had a plastic spoon, smashed it down and ate out the middle. i said oh, my god that's the way you're supposed to do it. i've been trying to peel these things. but i know even in rural areas of iowa, first strawberry season
before they get out of school in the spring. they bring straw berry ares in. there isn't a strawberry left by 10:00 a.m. in the morning. kids love it. and schools have dawn great thing. what am i frustrated about? ever since i started this darn program, the dried fruit and canned fruit people have wanted to get in the program. i have been successful in stopping them except until the last time. in 2014, i was -- no work 2012. well, 2012-2013. i saw i was going to lose this. i was going to lose it. so i maneuvered a pilot program. so michael, there's a pilot program now that just finished and we're waiting for evaluations and i'm sure
secretary will do a good job on this. i trust that he will. so we allowed some school districts to allow canned, frozen, dried fruit. as a pilot program. 2014 and 2015. some of these cans of fruit are just loaded with sugar. people say, i won't mention names, happened to be a congressman from california, by the way, said if they can eat grapes, they can eat raisins. i said, wait a minute, no, no, no. that's not right. if a kid eats 8 or 10 or 12 grapes, that's okay. does a kid eat 10 or 12 raisins? no, they eat a box. 30 or 40 at a time and it's just concentrated sugar in those raisins. anyway, all i can tell you is they've been trying to get in on this program for a long time. i hope we can keep them out and