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NAMA GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS — BI-WEEKLY UPDATE



HAPPENINGS AFFECTING OUR INDUSTRY

Calorie Disclosure Milestone
Recently, NAMA achieved a major milestone in Congress by having industry-specific language inserted into a major bill. This successful NAMA-led effort achieved changes in the House Agriculture Appropriations Funding Bill that instruct FDA to consider mitigating requirements for operators to display calories of vended items, as defined by the Affordable Care Act, by accepting industry practice such as front of pack or front of machine labeling in any final Calorie Disclosure Regulations.

The bill is now awaiting a vote by the full U.S. House which is expected to happen before the August Congressional recess.
If passed by the House and Senate, and signed by the President, the language could potentially save every vend operator upwards of $42,000 or more per year in the cost of compliance; it will also save suppliers in development costs and ultimately will save consumers money as well.

Please view this short video to see exactly how it all happened in the House Appropriations Committee.

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Ellmers Introduces Bottled Water Quality Information Act
Congresswoman Renee Ellmers (R-NC-02) recently introduced H.R. 4978 — the Bottled Water Quality Information Act. Consumers should have the ability to obtain clear, consistent and timely information about the safety and quality of their water. This bill would require bottled water companies to provide this information to consumers upon their request.
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Emerging Leader Jennifer Skidmore Advocates For Industry At Berkeley City Council Meeting
NAMA Emerging Leader Jennifer Skidmore, of J&J Vending, testified before the Berkeley (CA) City Council last week. She shared her views, strongly opposing the inclusion of a soda tax measure being placed on the November ballot. Read press release...
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NAMA Mobilizes Strong Grassroots Effort On Proposed Changes To Metallic Content Of Coinage By U.S. Mint
NAMA recently mobilized a strong grassroots effort to protect the vending and refreshment services industry, other coin-acceptance industries, and customers from potential changes in coin currency by the U.S. Mint. Read press release...
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USDA's Smart Snacks Regulations: The Industry Stands Ready
Following comprehensive preparation by the industry, operators are prepared to meet USDA's Smart Snack regulations, with new nutrition standards for snack foods and beverages sold to children at school during the school day. Read press release...
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GOVERNMENT AFFAIR NEWS — FEDERAL & STATE


FEDERAL ISSUES


USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack On The Food Fight
UDSA Secretary Tom Vilsack recently discussed his viewpoint on the food fight in Washington: "Obesity among our youngsters is a big problem. Hunger among our youngsters is a big problem. Here's where I think the challenge is — rather than try to take a step back as some are suggesting, maybe it would be better for all of us to focus on getting the equipment grants fully funded that would give the folks the ability to prepare things at school less expensively. Maybe it's a way of taking advantage of the grants that are already out there to assist with technical assistance. We have a smarter lunchroom grant program, over $5 million available. Folks should be applying for that."
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Ben & Jerry's Takes Its Food Fight To Label GMOs To Washington
Ice cream impresario Jerry Greenfield of Ben & Jerry's recently stormed the Capitol in protest of a House bill that would prohibit the labeling of food containing genetically modified organisms. Greenfield and Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., want to quash a House bill, H.R. 4432, introduced by Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., in April. Pompeo dubbed the legislation the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, but opponents refer to it as the Deny Americans the Right to Know Act, or the DARK Act. Technically, the bill gives the Food and Drug Administration sole authority to require mandatory labeling of GMOs, and the FDA prefers a voluntary approach to the issue. If the law were enacted, states would be unable to mandate GMO labeling.
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Bill To Ban 'BPA' In Food Packaging
Democrats in both chambers of Congress introduced legislation to ban from food packaging Bisephenol-A (BPA), a synthetic additive that has been linked to cancer, fetal development problems and infertility in large volumes. Reps. Lois Capps (Calif.) and Grace Meng (N.Y.), along with Sen. Ed Markey (Mass.), said the bill would also encourage the development of alternatives to BPA, which is used in resins and plastics, and require a safety review of all substances currently used in food packaging.
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STATE ISSUES


California: Plastic Bag Ban Blows Into Region
Like an urban tumbleweed caught by a coastal breeze, ordinances banning thin plastic shopping bags have reached the Sacramento region. Davis, California, recently became the first city in the four-county region to curtail the use of disposable plastic bags by grocery stores, markets and retailers within city limits. It joins 110 other California jurisdictions — mostly left-leaning coastal communities — that have enacted similar bans as a means to protect sea life and reduce waste.
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California's Minimum Wage Rises, But Advocates Say It's Not Enough
California's minimum wage recently rose from $8 to $9 per hour, but don't expect workers to celebrate with Champagne and caviar: They say these extra pennies are sorely needed just to survive and aren't enough in the long run.
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California: Berkeley Considers Putting Tax On Sugary Drinks On Ballot
Berkeley is poised to join the fight against sugar-sweetened drinks Tuesday night when the City Council votes on whether to place a soda tax on the November ballot. The measure, which has little opposition from Berkeley officials, would be a 1-cent-per-ounce excise tax on companies that distribute soda, sweetened teas and other beverages with added sugar. Diet soda, baby formula, milk, alcohol and 100 percent juice drinks would be exempt.
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Colorado: A Proposed Ballot Initiative Would Require Labeling Of Foods, But Not Everyone's On Board
In November, Colorado voters could be asked to decide whether genetically engineered foods, commonly called GMOs, should be subject to mandatory labeling. Petitions are being gathered to put Initiative 48, the "Colorado Right to Know Act," on the ballot. Under it, foods with GMO ingredients, with a few exceptions, would be labeled "Produced With Genetic Engineering."
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Oregon: Out-Of-State Groups Boost GMO Labeling Plan
Out-of-state groups raised most of the money for the Oregon effort to qualify a ballot initiative requiring labels on genetically engineered food. According to a report filed with the secretary of state, Oregon GMO Right to Know raised $1,165,663 and spent just over $1 million in collecting signatures for the measure. Advocates submitted Wednesday what they said were more than 150,000 signatures, but the secretary of state's log listed 107,835. State elections officials will have until Aug. 2 to verify 87,213 signatures, done through random sampling.
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Vermont: Attorney General Assembles Team To Defend GMO Labeling
Attorney General William Sorrell has named five attorneys to work full-time to defend the state against a lawsuit filed in June that challenges the constitutionality of mandated labeling of genetically engineered foods. Sorrell also announced he has negotiated a $1.465 million contract with Robbins Russell, a Washington, D.C., law firm, to help the state's legal team.
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INTERNATIONAL ISSUES


The Obesity Problem — Potential New Measures Against Unhealthy Diets?
The European Vending Association closely monitors the "obesity debate" to ensure vending is aware of changing consumer habits — whether by voluntary change or through governmental measures. This article sums up the latest developments in the debate. International organizations say food should be regulated like tobacco. The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to food has called for a global agreement to promote healthy eating habits, saying that "unhealthy diets are now a greater threat to global health than tobacco."
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Keeping In Touch With NAMA Government Affairs
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Brie Ragland, Senior Content Editor, 469.420.2639   
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