SOFT DRINKS, EMPTY PROMISES
Michele Simon, director of the Center for Informed Food Choices and author of the forthcoming Appetite for Profit (Nation Books), writes: The headlines certainly sounded impressive: Companies pulling sodas out of school; Bottlers agree to a school ban on sweet drinks. There’s only one problem: It’s not true. In May Big Cola announced yet another voluntary school sales policy, this one brokered by the Clinton Foundation. (The former President has made childhood obesity one of his causes.) The major media somehow missed that the deal is voluntary, meaning it’s unenforceable. Moreover, diet soda full of artificial sweeteners, sports drinks high in sugar and other empty-calorie beverages with zero nutritional value are still allowed in high schools. Most disturbing, this PR stunt could undermine ongoing grassroots efforts to get this stuff out of schools. Clinton should work with parents and others fighting powerful corporations to get enforceable legislation. The last thing we need is Bill Clinton encouraging more empty promises from industry.
FEIFFER TO BE HUNG BY SVA
Jules Feiffer, a contributor of drawings, cartoons and covers to this magazine and well-known as a cartoonist, playwright and author, will be honored by the School of Visual Arts in New York City. The SVA will devote its next annual Masters Series to a retrospective of Feiffer’s work. The show will be on view from October 24 through December 2 at the Visual Arts Museum.
ON THE WEB
The Colorado Rockies are playing faith-based baseball; other teams are wooing evangelicals with prayerful promotions. Something’s going on here, Dave Zirin writes, but it has nothing to do with God. • Mayor Ray Nagin, who famously declared New Orleans a “chocolate city,” begins his second term. Ned Sublette asks, What better time to appreciate how George Clinton, America’s should-be poet laureate, has funked up politics? • Nomi Prins, author of Jacked: How “Conservatives” Are Picking Your Pocket, considers the inherent conflicts in Bush’s choice of Goldman Sachs CEO Henry Paulson to be Treasury Secretary.