By Laura Christianson
A New York judge on Monday granted all U.S. children a temporary restraining order against the food and beverage industry, which is accused of having seduced and corrupted young people for years. Under the terms of the protection order, food and beverage industry products—drinks and snacks containing immoral levels of salt, sugar, and fat—must not be placed within 100 yards of children ages 6 to 16.
The order applies to companies such as PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Nestle, Kraft Foods, Dean Foods, General Mills, ConAgra Foods, and Kellogg Company—all pushers of highly processed foods that play a large role in America’s obesity epidemic among kids. Reached by phone, company executives refused to comment on their complicity in undermining children’s health. “We have other things to think about,” they all said. “We’re working on a quarterly earnings report for stockholders.”
According to a complaint filed in Manhattan Criminal Court on April 28, the food and beverage industry used its power and influence to cultivate an unhealthy and addictive relationship with children from 1974 to 2014. The industry eventually began stalking and harassing children, tempting them with millions of unseemly verbal and visual messages on TV and in the culture at large, the complaint says.
“This restraining order is a big win for kids everywhere,” said Lucy Harris, a fifth-grader at Parkview Elementary School in Minneapolis, Minn. “We were up against these huge food corporations with their nonstop marketing campaigns aimed at getting us to eat and drink their unhealthy products. Adults weren’t doing enough to protect us from the seductions and manipulations of the companies, so we children petitioned the court ourselves—and won.”
Note: Parkview Elementary students recommend you see a new documentary called “Fed Up,” which is about the food industry’s role in the American obesity epidemic. The film is narrated by Katie Couric.