Move Over Big Food, Here Comes Big Candy

Big candy wants its say in the national dialogue about obesity. Ad Age and other industry sources report that the National Confectioners Association (NCA) is in talks with four PR agencies to award a two to three million dollar budget and fight the notion that candy might have something to do with obesity.

Greater FDA regulation of sugar seems to be the immediate threat that has wakened this sleeping giant. The Center for Science in the Public Interest has filed a petition asking FDA to set a recommended safe level of added sugar. FDA has set recommended daily allowances for salt and fat, but has no such recommendations for sugar. Alert to the threat, the NCA spent more than ever on lobbying in 2012, $420,000. That may seem like a pittance when compared to other industries, but it’s a record for the candy lobby. Maybe the numbers don’t include all the local candy samples you find in every legislator’s office.

It also turns out that Big Candy finds itself at odds with Big Sugar these days. Big Sugar is getting special considerations from Congress that keep sugar prices artificially high. Big Candy is working to let the free market bring sugar prices back down. Sugar is a major cost factor for NCA members, which include candy makers like Mars, Nestle, and Hershey.

Now that everyone wants a place at the table — Big Food, Big Soda, Big Sugar, Big Candy — we’re going to need a much bigger table for our national conversation about obesity.

Click here to read more in Ad Age, here to read more in Business Insider, and here to read more in The Holmes Report.

Gummy Bears image © pato garza / Wikimedia

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