Tell the FDA that America’s Children Aren’t For $ale

Big food corporations are calling these products "smart choices"

Tell the FDA and USDA to end this kind of deceptive labeling today!

Ever get the feeling that multinational food corporations are just trying to sell you a bunch of junk in a pretty package? Well, the new Smart Choices® Program proves that hunch to be true.

Recently, an alliance of over a dozen giant food conglomerates and some industry “experts” came up with a new nutrition labeling program meant to help consumers make “smarter food and beverage choices.”1 You might be surprised what they define as a “Smart Choice”: products like Froot Loops®, Keebler Cookie Crunch® and Lucky Charms®.

Are they serious? In an age when childhood obesity and type II diabetes has become an epidemic, labeling sugar cereals as smart choices is unacceptable. Please join us in telling the FDA and USDA to investigate the Smart Choices® Program and put an end to deceptive labeling.

Tell the FDA that America’s Children Aren’t For $ale

The new Smart Choices® label, a large, bright green checkmark, is starting to appear on packages of processed food across the country thanks to the help of major corporations like ConAgra, General Mills, Kellogg’s, Kraft, PepsiCo, Tyson Foods and Unilever.2 For only $100,000, a company can join the Smart Choices® program3 and “recommend” products that contain as much as 44% sugar to your children.4

This new label is a sign of everything that is wrong with food industry driven labeling programs.

According to Michael Jacobson, the executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the criteria for the new “smarter food” label is so low that: “You could start out with some sawdust, add calcium or Vitamin A and meet the criteria.”5

Jacobson, who was on the original panel of experts that worked to create the nutritional standards for the Smart Choices® program, resigned last September in disgust because the results were so far in favor of the industry.

Thankfully, the FDA and USDA have taken notice. The agencies sent a joint letter saying they would “be concerned if any FOP (front of package) labeling systems…had the effect of encouraging consumers to choose highly processed foods…”6 The letter is a good start, but TheFDA and USDA need to do more. The Smart Choices program will encourage bad food choices if it's allowed to proceed. And the FDA and USDA have the ability to stop it.

Please sign this petition now and tell the FDA and the USDA that Froot Loops® is NOT a Smart Choice for our children.

Thanks for all you do,

Food Democracy Now! Team


Help support our work: If you'd like to see Food Democracy Now!'s grassroots work continue, please consider donating as little as $10 or $25. We appreciate your support!


1. Smart Choices® Program: Helping Guide Smart Food and Beverage Choices

2. Smart Choices® Program: Helping Guide Smart Food and Beverage Choices – Participating Companies

3. For Your Health, Froot Loops®

4. Smart Choices: 44% sugar calories!

5. For Your Health, Froot Loops®

6. Froot Loops® Unfortunate Mascot for Smart Choices Program


CALL FOR COMMUNITY PLANNING and ACTION - Meeting at the BADSEED Farmers Market (1909 McGee) Tuesday evening, OCTOBER 20th, 2009

Subject: Support Urban Food Production in Kansas City!!

Come to BADSEED MARKET, Tuesday, October 20, 6:00-7:30 pm, to discuss proposing City Code changes that will benefit Urban Agriculture.

(message from Katherine Kelly of the KCCUA below).....

Hello, all. Most of you have probably heard about the zoning/codes issues that were raised in relationship to BADSEED Farm. Their situation is settled, for the moment; they can continue operations, the codes inspection division no longer has any possible violations pending with them. There were two issues though that were raised that don't bode well for other urban farms -- because they are farming on a lot with a residence, the farm is considered to be a home based business, and therefore Dan and Brooke (or other urban farmers) can't have employees, volunteers, trainees, or anyone helping at the farm. Also, no CSA members can come to the farm and pick-up their vegetables, as this is "conducting retail business" on-site, and that isn't allowed in a residential neighborhood. BADSEED can live with this through the rest of the season, but both of those restrictions really work against the benefits and dynamics we are all trying to create with locating farms in city neighborhoods.

Because of the situation with BADSEED, it has become clear that codes restrictions like these would benefit from some adjustments on the question of urban gardens and farms.

In our meetings with the Urban Planning and Development staff, and with various city council people, they expressed a willingness to work with us to develop codes that more accurately fit the ways that urban food production is developing in Kansas City, MO. They are in a review period looking at the revised codes, so the timing is good for refinements.

The Kansas City Center for Urban Agriculture, BADSEED Farm, and the Food Policy Coalition for Greater Kansas City are organizing a meeting of any interested community members who would like to have input into this process.

You are invited to attend on TUESDAY, OCTOBER 20, 6:00-7:30 PM, at the BADSEED Market at 1909 McGee, Kansas City, MO.

The goals of the meeting are:
  • To look at existing codes that impact urban agriculture;
  • To brainstorm about changes that might be useful and supportive of the benefits of urban agriculture;
  • To put together a volunteer committee of Kansas City, MO residents to lead the codes revisions process. This committee would work with KCCUA, the Food Policy Coalition, and city staff to research possibilities, prioritize, draft, and build political support for more urban ag applicable codes; and
  • Start a process that other municipalities in the metro area can use as inspiration and as a model for creating more urban ag friendly cities.
At the meeting, we will have KCMO Councilwoman Beth Gottstein, Patty Knoll from the Planning and Development Department of the City, and possibly other City representatives.

The issues which could be addressed through a codes revision process include:
  • Types of agriculture: community gardens, educational gardens/farms, commercial farms, hand intensive, tillers/tractors, etc.
  • Light manufacturing/processing (e.g. canning facility, fruit processing, dehydration, etc.)
  • Employees, volunteers, trainees
  • On-site sales
  • High tunnels/greenhouses/ other structures
  • Livestock: set-backs, numbers allowed, types of livestock, etc.
There are likely to be other issues as well, which is why we especially want those of you who are either currently engaged in or who are considering getting involved in urban agriculture to attend. The models for how we do urban food production in the Kansas City metro area are rapidly evolving; we need to think not only about what we are seeing now, but what we might see in five years, in ten years, or further down the road.

*** PLEASE RSVP! We want to have some idea of how many folks to expect. And, if you can, bring a folding chair, BADSEED will have some on hand, but depending on the numbers, we may need more.

If you have any questions about this, you can contact:
We're excited about entering into this process and look forward to working with the city to help promote good food production Kansas City, MO and to be what we hope is the first of many cities in our area looking at the benefits of urban food production.

Best regards,

Season Burnett
Director, Kansas City CSA Coalition
csac.kc (@)

Join the conversation!
The KCCSAC is on Facebook (
and Google Groups (!