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Mars US Supports Harkin/Murkowski Amendment to Update Nutrition Standards for Foods Sold in Schools

HACKETTSTOWN, N.J., Nov. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of the Company's commitment to encourage healthier lifestyle choices for students, Mars US announced its support today for the amendment to the Farm Bill that would update nutrition standards for foods sold in schools proposed by Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).

"Mars US applauds Senators Harkin and Murkowski for championing the bipartisan effort to improve the nutrition environment in schools. The Company recognizes the importance of a balanced diet and physical activity for lifelong health. Mars US is proud to support this Amendment that aims to provide nutritious snack options for America's students, and in turn, establishes a foundation for making healthy choices into adulthood," said Todd Lachman, president of Mars Snackfood US.

The Company noted that the Harkin/Murkowski standards are sound nutrition guidelines that are in line with the Snack Foods Guidelines previously established by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. In 2006, Mars US was among the first companies to sign a voluntary agreement with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a joint initiative of the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation to support schools in developing healthier school environments that promote healthy eating and physical activity.

In June 2007 Mars launched Generation Max(TM), a line of ten great-tasting snacks for teens that meet the updated nutrition standards proposed by Senators Harkin and Murkowski. Generation Max(TM) clusters, snack bars, cookies, crackers and pretzel products are all less than 150 calories per serving, and contain less than 35% of calories from fat, 10% of calories from saturated fat and 35% sugar by weight. All of the snacks are labeled zero grams trans fat, and are fortified with essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin D, B-vitamins and calcium.

"Mars US is committed to providing consumers with an ever-expanding array of innovative products that are developed on sound scientific principles and serve emerging health and wellness needs among consumers," said Lachman.

About Mars US

Mars US is the United States food, snack and pet care operations of Mars, Incorporated, one of the world's leading food manufacturers. With approximately $7 billion in annual sales in the U.S., the combined food, snack and pet care segments are a symbol of excellence for quality brands. Headquartered in Hackettstown, New Jersey, Mars US employs more than 9,000 associates in the United States, with 52 facilities nationwide. The company owns some of the world's favorite brands, including M&M'S(R) Brand, SNICKERS(R) Brand, UNCLE BEN'S(R) Brand, PEDIGREE(R) Brand Food For Dogs, WHISKAS(R) Brand Food For Cats.

About Generation Max(TM)

Generation Max(R) clusters, snack bars, cookies, crackers and pretzel products are all 150 calories per serving or less, have the great taste of the well-known Mars snackfood brands and contain less than 35% of calories from fat, less than 10% of calories from saturated fat and less than 35% sugar, by weight, per serving. All of the snacks are labeled zero grams trans fat, and are fortified with essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin D, B-vitamins and calcium.

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