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NAMA GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS — BI-WEEKLY UPDATE


(L to R): George Faulk (Mondelez); Mike Brewer (Refreshments, Inc.); Tim Little (Mondelez); Mary Baker; Rick Colloredo (PepsiCo); Chris Graham (Graham Snack Foods, Inc.); Todd Prins (PepsiCo); Larry Gray (G&J Marketing); TAMA President Mike Laurer (Five Star Food Service); Billy Brumlow (Elected Committee of Blind Vendors, TBE); Tom Nelson (Vistar)

HAPPENINGS AFFECTING OUR INDUSTRY


FDA Comments Signal Further Delay in Calorie Disclosure for Vending
In the most current information available regarding calorie disclosure menu labeling for restaurants, the FDA was quoted as saying: "We are currently reviewing comments submitted in response to the proposed rules and hope to issue final regulations by the end of the year." 
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Tennessee Automatic Merchandising Association Hosts Legislative Day and Meets with State Lawmakers
The Tennessee Automatic Merchandising Association (TAMA) hosted its annual legislative day event at the state capitol in Nashville recently. Beginning at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 18, the group made its rounds to the state lawmakers' offices in teams for legislative appointments and to deliver bags more than 400 specially prepared bags containing vended items.
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NAMA's Government Affairs Announces 'DC Advocacy Days' to Enhance Grassroots Participation
NAMA's Government Affairs division announces the creation of a new member grassroots advocacy initiative: DC Advocacy Days. DC Advocacy Days is designed to increase NAMA's footprint on Capitol Hill, creating new opportunities for members and the industry to become more involved in grassroots efforts. The new program features ten days on Capitol Hill during 2014.
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GOVERNMENT AFFAIR NEWS — FEDERAL & STATE


FEDERAL ISSUES


Obamacare's Calorie-Count Requirement Gets Delayed
The Food and Drug Administration has missed yet another self-imposed deadline to get out final rules on the menu calorie-labeling requirement under Obamacare. The agency had told members of the food retail industry it should expect final guidelines in February, and the topic appeared to be on the Office of Management and Budget's agenda for this month. But the rules are nowhere close to the finish line, and the FDA is now declining interview requests about the calorie-labeling rules altogether.
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Food Industry to Make it's Own Labeling Splash
The food industry appears poised to one-up the Obama administration with the launch of a national media blitz to promote its own nutrition labels on the front of food packages. The Grocery Manufacturers Association and the Food Marketing Institute, which represent the biggest food companies and retailers, will roll out a coordinated marketing campaign, spending as much as $50 million, on Monday to promote their "Facts Up Front," the industry's own voluntary program for providing nutrition information on the front of food and beverage packages, POLITICO has learned.
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Obama Budget Proposes Increased FDA User Fees
The White House fiscal year 2015 budget has both good and bad for the produce industry, Washington D.C. observers say. On one hand, the budget from President Barack Obama aims to increase user fees for the Food and Drug Administration's food safety oversight activities. On the other, the budget seeks funding increases for school nutrition, research and healthy eating initiatives.
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Battle Over GMO Labeling Rumbling in US
A GMO labeling battle is rumbling in the U.S., with those demanding full disclosure of genetically modified organisms in food products pitted against big companies. Although some giants such as General Mills have recently taken timid steps toward being more upfront with consumers, the U.S., unlike some 60 other countries, lacks a legal requirement to do so.
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STATE ISSUES


California: San Francisco Supervisors Back Ban on Sale of Plastic Water Bottles
Bottled water is one step closer to being passed in San Francisco, after the Board of Supervisors recently approved a measure that would ban the sale of the items at events held on city property. The ordinance, approved unanimously, would prohibit the sale of drinking water in single-use bottles 21 ounces or less on city property, starting on Oct. 1 for indoor events and in 2016 for those held outdoors.
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California: Field Poll — Californians Broadly Support Soda Tax, Labeling
Amid mounting concern about the prevalence of childhood obesity, California voters support taxing sugary beverages and mandating health warnings on sweetened drinks, according to a new Field Poll funded by the California Endowment. When respondents were read a list of ideas to reduce childhood diabetes, two-thirds endorsed imposing a tax on soda and similar sweetened drink
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California: Soda Tax Linked to Reduced Consumption, Calories
More than any other sugary food or beverage, experts are most worried about the health ramifications of soda. It's the devil, they say. Doctors and scientists say they have reason to be concerned about soda consumption in the United States, and figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention back them up: More than two-thirds of Americans are overweight, and more than 36 percent of Americans are obese.
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California: Sugary Drinks in California Could Come with a Warning Label
A first-of-its kind bill in California proposes to force sugary sweet drinks to carry warning labels for possible side effects like obesity and diabetes. The bill, which is backed by nutrition groups, was introduced on Thursday by Senator Bill Monning. Drinks with added sugar that have 75 calories or more per 12 ounces would have to carry a label that states "State of California Safety Warning: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes and tooth decay."
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Illinois: State Senator Proposes Soda Tax
Illinois State Senator Mattie Hunter has proposed a one-cent-per-ounce tax on soft drinks sold in sealed containers, according to NBC Chicago. The senator suggests the increased revenue could be used for health services and education initiatives.
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Louisiana: Blind Vendors, Jindal's Office Spar Over Trust
A legal battle over the delivery of food services at a Louisiana military base has led to $365,000 in attorney bills for the state. It's also sparked a feud between the Jindal administration and a group of legally blind vendors. Central to the fight is a state-managed trust fund that takes money from vending operations in courthouses and other state or federal properties and uses it to help the legally blind run snack stands, cafeterias and vending machines.
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Maryland: Ban Energy Drinks? What About Coffee?
A bill in the Maryland General Assembly that would ban the sale of energy drinks to minors raises so many questions we don't even know where to begin. But we'll try. For starters, defining an energy drink as a beverage containing 71 milligrams or more of caffeine in a 12-ounce container doesn't make sense. It's likely the bill's sponsors picked this threshold because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration limits soda makers to 71 milligrams of caffeine.
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Texas: Ag Candidates Weigh in on School Lunch Program
School children at Cantu Elementary in San Juan, Texas, eat their free breakfast, Wednesday April 24, 2013. Ahead of Tuesday's primaries, the eight Republican and Democratic candidates for Texas agriculture commissioner have discussed a range of issues, including federal environmental regulations, border security and whether to legalize marijuana.
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Keeping In Touch With NAMA - Legislative Edition
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601   Download media kit
Brie Ragland, Content Editor, 469.420.2639   Contribute news
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