Government Report: January 18, 2007

Contents:

Sen. Kennedy Says HELP Committee Will Consider Obesity Bill
Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., new chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), announced plans to introduce legislation addressing childhood obesity. His remarks were made during a press conference addressing the HELP Committee agenda in the new congress. In 2005, Sen. Kennedy introduced the Prevention of Childhood Obesity Act (S. 799), which would have funded an Institute of Medicine study seeking guideline recommendations for nutritional food and physical activity advertising and marketing to prevent childhood obesity. The bill would have also directed the Federal Trade Commission to create new regulations for physical activity and nutritional food advertising.
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FTC Announces Supplement Advertising Fines
The Federal Trade Commission announced it would fine the marketers of four weight-loss supplements a total of $25 million for deceptive advertising. The settlement came after the FTC alleged that the companies’ weight-loss claims were not supported by scientific evidence. Although the companies may still sell and market their products, they have agreed to limit their advertising claims. According to the FTC, the money will be used to pay refunds to consumers. The FTC noted that the agreements "are for settlement purposes only and do not constitute admissions by the settling defendants of law violations."
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New House and Senate Committees Form
A new Congress and change of party control has brought numerous changes to committee memberships. What follows are the new members of five committees important to advertising. Full committee lists are available on our Web site here.

Senate Commerce Committee
Chairman: Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii
Ranking member: Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska
New members:
     Tom Carper, D-Del.
     Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.
     Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.
     John Thune, R-S.D.

Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee
Chairman: Ted Kennedy, D-Mass.
Vice Chairman: Chris Dodd, D-Conn.
Ranking member: Mike Enzi, R-Wyo.
New members:
     Barack Obama, D-Ill.
     Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.
     Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio
     Lisa Mukowski, R-Alaska
     Wayne Allard, R-Colo.
     Tom Coburn, R-Okla.

Senate Finance Committee
Chairman: Max Baucus, D-Mont.
Ranking member: Charles Grassley, R-Iowa
New members:
     Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.
     Maria Cantwell, D-Wa.
     Ken Salazar, D-Colo.
     Pat Roberts, R-Kansas.

House Energy and Commerce Committee
Chairman: John Dingell, D-Mich.
Ranking member: Joe Barton, R-Texas
New members:
     Jane Harman, D-Calif.
     Darlene Hooley, D-Ore.
     Anthony D. Weiner, D-N.Y.
     Jim Matheson, D-Utah
     G. K. Butterfield, D-N.C.
     Charlie Melancon, D-La.
     John Barrow, D-Ga.
     Baron Hill, D-Ind.
     J. Dennis Hastert, D-Ill.

House Ways and Means Committee
Chairman: Charles Rangel, D-N.Y.
Ranking member: Jim McCrery, R-La.
New members:
     Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore.
     Ron Kind D-Wis.
     Bill Pascrell, Jr. D-N.J.
     Shelley Berkley D-Nev.
     Joseph Crowley D-N.Y.
     Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.
     Kendrick Meek D-Fla.
     Allyson Y. Schwartz D-Pa.
     Artur Davis, D-Ala.
     Wally Herger, R-Calif.
     Pat Tiberi, R-Ohio
     Jon Porter, R-Nev.

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