NAMA GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS — BI-WEEKLY UPDATE
In the back row of the photo, from left to right, is Jon Ford (All State Manufacturing Co.), Tom Reynolds (PepsiCo), Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) and Mark Dieffenbach (The Hershey Co.) In the front row of the photo is Pam Gilbert (NAMA).
Left to right: NAMA's Emerging Leaders Participating in recent PPC: Juan Jorquera, Vagabond Vending; Carla Variglotti, The Cuyahoga Group; Mickal McMath, Moorehaus Coffee/M & M Sales; Paul Tullio, Gourmet Coffee Service; Maxwell Elliott, Tomdra Vending & Coffee Service.
HAPPENINGS AFFECTING OUR INDUSTRY
NAMA Shares Public Policy Conference Results Report
NAMA today announced initial results of its successful Public Policy Conference held last week in Washington, D.C. Read the release.
NAMA's Nutrition Efforts Spotlighted At Washington, D.C., Hearing
NAMA member David Durnbaugh, president of the Maryland-DC Vending Association and owner of SunDun Office Refreshments, recently testified at a hearing with the Washington, D.C. City Council regarding The Workplace Wellness Act of 2013, an act that would restrict items offered for sale, in vending machines in city buildings, as it relates to percentage of "healthy" items. Read the release.
NAMA Kicks Off Public Policy Conference
"In the face of all the activity in Washington, D.C., all systems are 'go' for NAMA's Public Policy Conference. Nearly 50 participants are literally hitting the ground running to ensure the success and value of the conference," according to Eric Dell, NAMA's Senior Vice President of Government Affairs. Read the release.
GOVERNMENT AFFAIR NEWS — FEDERAL & STATE
US Senate and House to Begin Talks on Farm-Bill Legislation
The U.S. House has recently agreed to begin formal talks with the Senate on a long-delayed farm bill. These discussions will give back the reins to Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas to try to salvage some compromise after the frequent partisan floor fights of the past summer. The motion was approved on a simple voice vote after a last fight was decided by a 223-189 margin on the rule. Also by a voice vote, lawmakers approved a resolution urging House negotiators to support a Senate-passed provision that would trim the level of crop insurance subsidies for wealthy farmers with an adjusted gross income of $750,000 or more.
Federal Legislators Seek to Modernize Food Labeling
Newly proposed federal legislation seeks to create a single, standard front-of-package (FOP) label, require greater disclosure of sugar and caffeine content, and define how common claims such as "natural" and "healthy" can be used. The legislation, entitled the "Food Labeling Modernization Act" is being introduced by three congressional Democrats: Sen. Richard Blumenthal (CT), Rep. Rosa DeLauro (CT) and Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ). The sponsors argue that major labeling requirements, last updated more than 20 years ago, are in need of major changes to deliver "the consistent, clear information that Americans need to combat the obesity crisis and make healthier choices." The bill would direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish a single, standard front-of-package nutrition labeling system for all food products that are required to carry nutrition labeling.
Why Another CR Would Hurt Food Safety
Most people assume that food is regularly inspected in the U.S. It's not.
The Food and Drug Administration, responsible for 80 percent of the food Americans eat, inspects U.S. food makers once a decade and checks only about 1 percent of imported food — that is, when the government is up and running.
Now, as congressional leaders negotiate to end the shutdown and raise the debt ceiling — which will likely include another short-term continuing resolution at post-sequester levels — the FDA stands to get uniquely screwed by the deal.
Baucus Says Budget Talks Could Lead to Tax Reform
A day after Congress passed legislation to fund the government and increase the nation's debt limit, Montana Democratic Sen. Max Baucus said he's optimistic the budget talks the bill requires could lead to tax reform.
Anatomy of a Shutdown
House Speaker John Boehner just wanted to sneak out of the White House for a smoke.
But President Barack Obama pulled him aside for a grilling. Obama wanted to know why they were in the second day of a government shutdown that the speaker had repeatedly and publicly pledged to avoid.
California: Teenagers Drinking More Sugary Beverages According to Study
As the clock ticks toward a 2014 federal ban on the sale of sports drinks at high schools, California teenagers are showing an increasing fondness for the sugary beverages, with an alarming 23 percent increase in the consumption of sports and energy drinks since 2005, according to a new study. At the same time, consumption of sugary drinks by young children is declining sharply, according to the study by researchers at the California Center for Public Health Advocacy and the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. The study tracked youth consumption of the beverages from 2005 to 2012. Both trends — the surge in teens guzzling sugary drinks and the drop in consumption for younger children — are tied to regulations governing the sale of the beverages in California schools, said Harold Goldstein, executive director of the California Center for Public Health Advocacy.
Colorado: Telluride Voters to Consider Local Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Tax Ballot Measure
Telluride voters will soon consider a controversial ballot question in the upcoming municipal election that asks if the town should place an excise tax on sugary beverages sold in town to fund programs aimed at educating children to make healthier lifestyle choices. The ballot question, to be labeled "Question 2A," has generated not only heated discussion inside Telluride, but interest from two powerful campaigns, for and against the tax, which are funded exclusively by outside groups. The Colorado Beverage Association, an industry lobbying group, has spent $20,000 funding the "No on 2A" campaign, comprised of a local group of concerned citizens and business owners. Possibly suggesting how seriously the industry takes the threat of taxing sugar, Charlie Sheffield, a lobbyist with the Colorado Beverage Association, has been in Telluride assisting the No on 2A campaign in the months leading up to the election.
Washington: Opponents of GMO Labeling Increase Campaign Spending in Preparation for Upcoming Ballot Initiative
Washington's Initiative 522, on the state's ballots next month, is the latest front in the ongoing battle over genetically modified organisms (GMO). Critics of GMO crops and food, including advocacy groups and organic farmers, warn that they could pose threats to public health and damage the environment. However, several major industry and biotechnology groups maintain that GMO crops products are safe for consumption, thus mandatory labels, are unnecessary and could prejudice consumers against important technological advancements in food production. The opponents of the GMO labelling initiative, led by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), Monsanto and Dupont Pioneer, have reportedly spent more than $17 million on the fight, according to figures compiled by the non-partisan research group MapLight.
Maplight, tracks money in politics, also reportedly found that groups in favor of the labels have spent roughly $5.2 million.