The Hagstrom Report

Agriculture News As It Happens


DesJarlais bill would ban federal funds for anti-product ads

Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn.
Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn.
Angered by anti-obesity ads, Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., has introduced a bill to prohibit the use of federal money for advertising campaigns against any food or beverage deemed safe and lawfully marketed under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

DesJarlais's bill, introduced Feb. 1, is called the “Protecting Foods and Beverages from Government Attack Act of 2012.”

DesJarlais, a member of the House Agriculture Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said in a news release he has determined that $230 million in recovery act grant money, “was used, in many cases, to run advertisements attacking America’s soft drink companies.”

“Our top priority should be restarting the economy and creating jobs — not funding scare campaigns against perfectly safe and legal products,” DesJarlais said in the statement. “At a time when our nation faces high unemployment, it makes absolutely no sense that federal and city agencies would aggressively advertise against American products made by American workers.”

DesJarlais was quoted on the issue in a Feb. 7 Los Angeles Time story: “When I see stimulus money being used to attack American companies and American workers, I think it would be very unsettling to be working on the assembly line of Coca Cola, look up and see an ad that’s trying to hurt the very job that you make your wages and pay taxes from.”

DesJarlais is a physician but said he believes that individuals should make dietary decisions on their own or in consultation with their doctors, according to the L.A. Times report.