Gov't pulls back on junk food marketing proposal

October 12, 2011 - 2:40 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Tony the Tiger and Toucan Sam can rest easy. Government officials fine-tuning guidelines for marketing food to children say they won't push the food industry to get rid of colorful cartoon characters on cereal boxes anytime soon.

Allowing the brand icons from popular cereals to remain untouched is one of the concessions officials say they are likely to make as they work to convince food companies to curb junk food marketing to children.

The food industry has aggressively lobbied against the voluntary guidelines, saying they are too broad.

Officials from the Federal Trade Commission, the Agriculture Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who jointly wrote the guidelines will testify before a House committee Wednesday.