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HAPPENINGS AFFECTING OUR INDUSTRY
Iowa Automatic Merchandising Association Hosts Legislative Day
The Iowa Automatic Merchandising Association (IAMA) recently hosted a legislative day at the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines. The event was held in conjunction with the IAMA annual meeting.
The legislative day was coordinated by Steve Roberts, IAMA's Legislative Consultant. A dozen IAMA members hosted a breakfast for legislators where they were able to speak with their lawmakers about the vending and refreshment services industry. NAMA's Sr. Director and Counsel Sandy Larson was also in attendance.
NAMA Raises Profile with Participation on Institute of Food Technologists Food Policy Panel
Eric Dell, NAMA's SVP of Government Affairs, recently participated in the Institute of Food Technologists' (IFT) Food Policy Update event in Washington, D.C. The full-day event featured regulatory updates and sessions on a variety of food policy topics, including Calorie Disclosure.
Representing NAMA and the refreshment services industry, Dell took part in a panel discussion on the FDA's new calorie disclosure rules, alongside FDA executives, high-level government affairs association executives and regulatory experts. Participation in the panel placed NAMA in a key knowledge source role for the industry.
GOVERNMENT AFFAIR NEWS — FEDERAL & STATE
World Health Organization Advises Halving Sugar Intake
The World Health Organization advises halving the amount of sugar that people consume daily, after Britain's chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies said a sugar tax may be needed to curb obesity rates.
California: 2 State Bills Show When Product Labeling Is Helpful and When It Isn't
The trend in government-mandated labeling — ingredients lists, nutritional breakdowns and safety warnings — is toward more rather than less, and for the most part that's a good thing. Strong labeling laws give consumers the facts they need to make healthful, safe and responsible buying decisions. At the same time, cluttering labels with redundant information or facts of questionable value only makes it harder to find the most useful information. It can even mislead.
But which labeling is vital, and how much is too much — or the wrong kind? Those questions can be difficult to answer. Two bills in the state Legislature provide helpful examples of when to label — and when not to.
California: Backers of Failed S.F. Soda Tax Propose Warning Labels on Ads
San Francisco would become the first city in the country to require warning labels on advertising for soda and other sugary beverages under new legislation to be introduced Tuesday by Supervisor Scott Wiener.
In addition, Supervisor Malia Cohen will propose banning such advertising on city property including Muni buses and shelters, and Supervisor Eric Mar will propose prohibiting the city from spending money on sugary drinks. It is unclear whether those two rules exist in other cities.
California: Soda Distributors Frustrated at City of Berkeley's Lack of Guidance on Soda Tax
As the co-owner of the San Francisco-based Waterloo Beverages company, Camilo Malaver enjoyed doing business in Berkeley. But he did not want anything to do with Berkeley after voters adopted a soda tax in November.
In January, when the tax was implemented, Malaver decided to stop restocking his supply of craft sodas and naturally sweetened beverages in Berkeley to avoid further confusion.
His gripe was not against the tax itself; his frustration was aimed primarily at the city for what he saw as a poor job relaying information on how to comply with the tax. He's keen to restock in Berkeley again, but, for now, he is waiting to see how the tax will develop.
California: San Francisco Trying — Again — to Institute Sugar Tax/Ban
This is not the first time — and if the course stays the same it likely will not be the last — but San Francisco is trying to go after the soda industry by instituting a major tax on sugar soft drinks, just like they did last year. That effort failed.
Sugar Tax a Slurp Closer for Connecticut
A bill which would make Connecticut the first in the nation to slap a penalty tax on sugary soda products passed a legislative committee Thursday and moved a few inches closer to becoming law.
The General Assembly's Committee on Children also passed a bill banning marketing of unhealthy food on school grounds.
"(The bill) has good intentions, but unintended consequences," said Melissa Ziobron, R-East Haddam, who added her town's baseball fields have scoreboards proclaiming sponsorship by Coca-Cola.
District of Columbia: Now This Is Getting Serious — Climate Change Puts Coffee at Risk, EPA Chief Warns
Americans' morning caffeine rush ultimately could be a casualty of climate change, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy said Wednesday.
In a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations, Ms. McCarthy said the changing climate — which she believes is largely caused by human activity — puts economies, global security and food supplies at risk.
Coffee lovers also will eventually feel the effects, the EPA chief said.
"Climate change puts the world's coffee-growing regions at risk," Ms. McCarthy said, adding that the world must begin to weave climate-change efforts into virtually every other policy.
Hawaii Rejects Sugary Beverage Labeling, Tax
Legislation in Hawaii requiring sugary beverages include warning labels was rejected by the Health Committee of the Hawaii House of Representatives after witnesses including many small businesses and consumers testified against the measure.
The House and Senate Health committees decided in mid-February to defer HB1438 and SB1270 which would have required sugary beverages to include a warning on beverages stating "Drinking beverages with added sugar contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay." Deferring the bills effectively killed them for this legislative session.
Hawaii: Why Maui GMO Ban May Be Overturned Despite Voter Approval
The challenge to overturn Maui's ban on genetically modified organisms heads to federal court at the end of the month. A hearing is set for March 31.
Monsanto and other companies want the ban to be ruled illegal despite voters approving it last November. In the general election, in a close vote of 51-to-49 percent, Maui residents approved a referendum to ban genetically modified organisms in the county.
But a lawsuit has blocked the ban from taking effect. Maui County voters may be wondering why the ban is in trouble after they went to the polls and passed it.
Illinois Lawmakers Resurrect Soda Tax On Distributors
State Sen. Mattie Hunter and state Rep. Robyn Gabel, both democrats from the Chicago area, have reintroduced a plan to tax sugary drinks before the Illinois General Assembly.
The Healthy Eating Active Living Act would add a penny-per-ounce excise tax on distributors of soda, energy drinks and other beverages with more than 5g. of sugar per 12 fl.oz. Low-calorie, low-sugar and alcoholic beverages would be exempt.
Pennsylvania: Can Coffee Be Part of a Healthy Lifestyle?
For centuries, coffee has caused a stir over health impacts, good or bad, with many people resigned to accept it as a guilty pleasure.
But in a full turnabout since the 1980s, science now extols its virtues as a generally healthful drink and kick-start for adults, with cautions for pregnant women and those with caffeine sensitivity and sleeping disorders.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture now agrees that coffee doesn't deserve its dark history and moderate consumption "can be incorporated into a healthy lifestyle."
GMO Labeling Bill Gets Another Shot in Rhode Island
A bill has been introduced in the Rhode Island Legislature that would require labeling of any genetically-engineered ingredients in food consumed by humans.
State Sen. Donna Nesselbush recently introduced two nearly identical bills to the Senate Health & Human Services Committee that would demand disclosure of any foods or ingredients that were genetically manipulated, making Rhode Island the latest state to respond to the popular movement seeking to mandate labeling.
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