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Martin to Testify at Food-Marketing Hearing

Federal Communications Commission chairman Kevin Martin will testify next week at a hearing on food marketing to kids.

The hearing will be Sept. 23 in the Senate Appropriations Committee's Health and Human Services Subcommittee.

Also set to testify are Federal Trade Commission member Jon Leibowitz; Marva Smalls of MTV; Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control; Marc Firestone of Kraft Foods; Patti Miller of Children Now; and Michael McGinnis of the Institute of Medicine.

Childhood obesity is the nation's next big healthcare crisis, according to the Surgeon General.

Martin teamed up with Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) and representatives of industry and kids’ activists on a task force to come up with ways for government and industry to team up to tackle the problem. But that was approaching two years ago, and its report to Congress has been delayed several times.

The media-related Hill hearings are piling up as Congress tries to wrap up its business, although the financial meltdown may have something to do with their timetable.

The food-marketing hearing is in addition to already-scheduled hearings in the Senate Commerce Committee on the digital-TV transition and online privacy, as well as a House hearing on food marketing to kids.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.