NEWARK, Del. -- The Produce for Better Health Foundation here has decided not to relax its current criteria for selecting produce items that carry the 5 a Day logo.
The foundation, which organizes and sponsors the national generic produce promotion called 5 a Day for Better Health, had been considering a relaxation of its standards for product inclusion as a way to expand its prospective sources for funding.
The proposal, which had been considered by the foundation's Mission Task Force, was to extend the 5 a Day campaign to items that have added sugar or fat, such as prepackaged salads with low-fat dressings.
Such items cannot currently carry the 5 a Day logo under guidelines established by the National Cancer Institute, Washington, which sponsors the 5 a Day campaign with PBH.
The potentially controversial fund-raising tactic was vetoed, however, during a meeting of the board of directors held in Monterey, Calif., last month.
PBH resolved instead to more aggressively explore tie-ins and cross-promotions with other "healthy" products, which will not compromise the foundation's relationship with the National Cancer Institute, said Kathleen Steele, director of communications and promotions for the foundation.
While adding more items to the foundation's program would have increased funding, NCI had expressed concern about the idea. Rather than change the basic mission of the foundation, the task force recommended PBH maintain its current mission.
That mission, as stated, is "To increase consumption of fruits and vegetables to an average of five or more servings a day to improve the health of Americans through a partnership among the health community, government agencies, the fruit and vegetable industry and other private sectors," said Steele.
There was a great deal of discussion about the topic before the decision to drop the proposal was made, according to Lorri Koster, a member of PBH's executive committee.
"NCI is a very strong partner in the 5 a Day campaign, and we want to keep that partnership moving," said Koster, who is also director of trade and media relations for Mann Packing, Salinas, Calif. At the same time, the foundation's task force clarified that PBH may pursue the tie-ins and cross-promotions with certain "healthy" items, while not officially allowing those items to carry the 5 a Day logo.