CHICAGO — Most vending operators would be required to post conspicuous signs near machines selling consumable items, under legislation recently introduced in the House of Representatives. The National Automatic Merchandising Association is urging members to express their strong opposition to the measure.
HR 3895 specifically targets restaurant chains with more than 20 stores, and vending operations with more than 20 machines selling relevant products. The stated goal is to present consumers with information on the caloric content and the amount, by weight, of sodium, saturated and trans fat per serving of every item offered.
The bill would amend the Federal Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act, extending the food labeling requirements of the Nutrition Labeling & Education Act of 1990.The sponsors noted that, in restaurants, items are not sold in labeled packages – and in vending machines, the content labeling may not be visible from the outside.
HR 3895 was introduced by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT, Hartford), who had authored an identical measure in 2003. It has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Cosponsors include Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR, Portland), Betty McCollum (D-MN, St. Paul), Rahm Emanuel (D-IL, Chicago), Raul M. Grijalva (D-AZ, Tucson) and James P. McGovern (D-MA, Attleboro).
Other sponsors are Reps. George Miller (D-CA, Concord), Maurice Hinchey (D-NY, Middletown), James P. Moran (D-VA, Alexandria), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH, Toledo), Janice D. Schakowsky (D-IL, Evanston), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA, San Jose), Henry A. Waxman (D-CA, Los Angeles) and Lynn C. Woolsey (D-CA, San Rafael).
Tom McMahon, senior vice-president and chief counsel for NAMA, warned that the measure “would be very expensive and burdensome for operators.”
Industry professionals can contact their representatives to express concerns about this proposal. Information on reaching any member of the House is online at clerk.house.gov/member_info/index.html.