WASHINGTON -- Complying with pending federal calorie-labeling rules moved closer to being the best-case scenario for vending operators thanks to a major victory on Capitol Hill.
The U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee voted to include report language in its fiscal 2015 Agriculture Appropriations bill recommending standards to the FDA that vending operators could meet to comply with pending calorie disclosure rules.
The language is as follows: 'To meet the requirements of the law, FDA should accept a clear, visible display of calories on the front of the package of articles of food sold from a vending machine or on the front of the vending machine as meeting such requirements."
"This amendment marks great progress in promoting a common-sense answer to calorie disclosure and recognizes industry efforts in meeting the Congressional intent of the original law even before the final rules have been issued," said National Automatic Merchandising Association senior vice-president of government affairs Eric Dell. "If adopted by the FDA, it has the potential to save operators and suppliers alike the tens of thousands of dollars it would have cost them each year to comply with onerous regulations."
Dell credited grassroots campaigning by NAMA and its members for the victory. Operators met with, called and wrote to their lawmakers, and NAMA lobbied heavily on the national level alongside its industry coalition partners.
"Together, we led discussions and pursued this with lawmakers who agreed that the proposed calorie disclosure regulations for vending would cause undue harm to our industry," Dell said. "We are thankful to those who supported this effort, especially Rep. Alan Nunnelee (MS-1) who sponsored the amendment and Rep. Sanford Bishop (GA-2), who spoke in support of the amendment."
The next step is for the Agriculture Appropriations Bill to be voted on in the full U.S. House of Representatives.