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Home   Membership   Expos   Publications   Knowledge Center   Education   Coffee Service   Gov. Affairs Feb. 24, 2012
 
 
 


FDA will investigate safety of inhalable caffeine
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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it plans to investigate the safety of inhalable caffeine being sold in small canisters. AeroShot, currently available in Massachusetts and New York, is a canister that releases a fine powder that dissolves almost instantly in consumers' mouths after inhaled. Each portion contains B vitamins and 100 milligrams of caffeine powder, the caffeine equivalent of a large cup of coffee. The product didn't require FDA review before reaching store shelves because it is being sold as a supplement. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY, has met with FDA commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg and asked her to review the safety and legality of AeroShot. The FDA reports that its review would study whether AeroShot qualifies as a dietary supplement and whether it's safe for consumption. For more information, contact Sandy Larson at slarson@vending.org .


Fructose off the hook for overweight and obesity?
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When it comes to weight gain, fructose should not be singled out for blame, a new review of the scientific literature suggests. The review, in the Annals of Internal Medicine, shows that excessive calories — and not any unique properties of fructose — are more likely to lead to extra pounds. However, the authors acknowledge that many of the studies they reviewed had serious shortcomings. Therefore, their conclusions are, in a word, inconclusive. "Overall, the evidence from our analysis is too preliminary to guide food choices in the context of real-world intake patterns," they write. The review is likely to be controversial because increased fructose consumption has been targeted as a leading cause of the obesity epidemic, particularly in the form of high fructose corn syrup, a sweetener added to non-diet soft drinks and many other food products. For more information, contact Sandy Larson at slarson@vending.org .


New guidelines planned on school vending machines
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The government's attempt to reduce childhood obesity is moving from the school cafeteria to the vending machines. The Obama administration is working on setting nutritional standards for foods that children can buy outside the cafeteria. With students eating 19 to 50 percent of their daily food at school, the administration wants to ensure that what they eat contributes to good health and smaller waistlines. The proposed rules are expected within the next few weeks. Representatives of the food and beverage industries argue that many of their products contribute to good nutrition and should not be banned. Schools say that overly restrictive rules, which could include banning the candy sold for school fund-raisers, risk the loss of substantial revenue that helps pay for sports, music and arts programs. Nutritionists say that school vending machines stocked with potato chips, cookies and sugary soft drinks contribute to childhood obesity, which has more than tripled in the past 30 years. No details of the proposed guidelines have been released, but health advocates and snack food and soft drink industry representatives predict that the rules will be similar to those for the government's school lunch program, which reduced amounts of sugar, salt and fat. For more information, contact Sandy Larson at slarson@vending.org .



New York: Vending Industry urged to contact legislators in support of tax exemption bill
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Correction to item in last issue: The New York State Automatic Vending Association urges vending industry members to contact their legislators in support of A5718, and S3445, amendments to the Tax Law, which would increase the exemption for food and beverages sold through vending machines from 75 cents to $1.50. Nearby states have sales tax relief, including Connecticut, which has a sales-tax exemption for vended products sold for $3.50 or less. In Maine, if a vendor has more than 50 percent of revenue through the sale of products in vending machines, he pays a use tax of 5 percent on the purchase price of products directly from the invoice. For more information, contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


California: Bill would restrict food trucks near schools
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AB 1678, introduced into the California State Legislature this week, would prohibit a mobile food facility from selling or otherwise providing food or beverages within 1,500 feet of any elementary or secondary school campus. The legislation, aimed at helping to keep school children from unhealthy foods, could be viewed as a threat to the popular food truck industry in California. Bill authors argue that mobile food vending "diminishes participation in the school nutrition programs" and "increases students' access to foods and beverages that are calorie rich, nutrient poor and contribute to negative health outcomes like being overweight and obesity." For more information, contact Sandy Larson at slarson@vending.org.


California: Legislation would restrict electrolyte replacement beverage sales in schools
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AB 1746 would restrict the sale of electrolyte replacement beverages in middle schools and high schools to specified times before and after school. Existing law permits the sale of only certain beverages to pupils at schools in California. The beverages that may be sold include fruit-based and vegetable-based drinks, drinking water, milk and, in middle and junior high schools, an electrolyte replacement beverage if those beverages meet certain nutritional requirements. If passed, this bill would take effect July 1, 2013. For more information, contact Sandy Larson at slarson@vending.org .


Colorado: Lawmakers alter bill to restrict trans fats in school vending machines
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The nation's leanest state has backed off a sweeping trans-fats ban for public schools in favor of a weaker version intended to reduce childhood obesity. A Senate committee gave 4-3 approval Thursday to a bill to ban trans fats in school cafeterias and vending machines, but lawmakers considerably weakened the proposal. They exempted more than half of the state's school districts by adding an amendment that would not cover districts with fewer than 1,000 students. Senators also removed fundraisers from the trans-fats ban. That means school bake sales, and many sporting concession stands, would not be affected. Finally, the Senate gave schools an extra year to comply, until 2013. For more information, contact Sandy Larson at slarson@vending.org.


Florida: Privatization of state prisons and work camps
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The Florida Senate rejected SB 2038, which would have privatized all or parts of 27 Sunshine State prisons and work camps. The proposal was the largest such prison privatization proposal in U.S. history. For more information contact Mary Lou Monaghan at mmonaghan@vending.org.


Georgia: Resolution for the adoption of healthy option policies in school vending machines
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On Feb. 16, the Georgia Senate Committee on Education and Youth "favorably reported" and released Senate Resolution 480, "urging local boards of education to adopt policies requiring that vending machines in schools be stocked with healthy options." SR 480 originally was introduced in the Georgia Senate in March 2011 and was referred to the Education and Youth Committee, where it sat until February. SR 480 could be approved by the Senate (and subsequently the House) before the end of the legislative session in April. If SR 480 is approved, its language may set a precedent for any future legislation relative to vending in Georgia. NAMA will be monitoring the movement of SR 480 closely. Please contact Sheree Edwards at sedwards@vending.org.


Michigan: Governor presents budget
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Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder presented his fiscal year 2013 budget proposal before the joint Senate and House Appropriations Committee. The $48.2 billion budget is 2.4 percent larger than the current fiscal year's budget. The focus was on putting $130 million into the Rainy Day Fund, $179 million into the public school employees' retirement system, $25 million into fixing crumbling state buildings and $50 million into updating the state's computer systems, with a combined $50 million more going into public safety and K-12 education getting 2.5 percent more if schools meet certain incentives. For more information, contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


Ohio: Local vending food service fee increase capped at 3 percent for 2012
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The Ohio Automatic Merchandising Association advises vending operators to make sure they are not charged any more than a 3 percent increase (in the local portion) for license fees. The state fee is $6 and should not be included when computing the percentage of increase. Section 3717.07 (B) (7) of the Ohio Revised Code places a cap or ceiling on the local health department's portion of the Vending Machine Food Service Operation License Fee. The maximum amount that a Vending Machine Food Service Operation License Fee may be increased is limited to the percentage of increase in the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers (United States city average, all items) for the immediately preceding calendar year. The new consumer price index is 3 percent. License fees are due March 1. If you have questions, please contact the Food Safety Program at 614-466-1390. For more information contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


Rhode Island: Legislation would lower cigarette tax
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State Rep. Robert Phillips has introduced legislation that would lower the state's cigarette tax by $1 per pack. A similar bill that he introduced last year failed. Rep. Phillips acknowledges that the per-pack tax revenue would be less, but believes that the competitive price would increase sales, especially in communities that border states with lower cigarette tax rates. Rhode Island's cigarette tax has been $3.46 since 2009. The cigarette tax is $2.51 in Massachusetts and $3.40 in Connecticut. For more information contact Pam Gilbert at pgilbert@vending.org.


Virginia: Senate approves 'Amazon' legislation
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The Virginia Senate approved SB 597, the so-called "Amazon" legislation that would require online retailers with a brick-and-mortar presence in the state to collect state sales tax on their sales. It has moved to the House. For more information contact Mary Lou Monaghan at mmonaghan@vending.org.


Washington: Food purchasing policy for state agencies
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Recently NAVA was successfully able to prevent HB 1801 (establishing food purchasing policies) from getting a hearing in the House Ways and Means Committee, where it remains. At this point, it is considered dead for this session. NAVA will continue to monitor legislation for any amendments or budgetary language that could push any of the concepts around nutrition policy or vending forward.
For more information, contact Sandy Larson at slarson@vending.org .


The National Automatic Merchandising Association www.vending.org

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Keeping In Touch With NAMA - Legislative Edition
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