RICHMOND, VA -- The Virginia Automatic Merchandising
Association reports that its legislative consultant,
Jeff Smith, has called attention to four measures
introduced in the State Legislature. Among other things,
these initiatives would require the Board of Education
to issue regulations establishing nutritional guidelines
for all "competitive foods" sold in schools during
The proposals, as written, lack precision in specifying
responsibilities, criteria and authority, VAMA noted. "Will
the BOE have regulatory authority and/or penal
authority?" the association wonders.
Moreover, "There potentially could be several
standards put in place for similar product, creating
administrative problems for industry compliance,"
VAMA warned. For example, standards have been
drafted by the American Beverage Association, the
Alliance for a Healthier Generation and the National
Academy of Science's Institute of Medicine, among
Schools ordered to develop and implement their own
plans for compliance would receive little guidance in
determining how to do it, the association pointed out. The
result might be general confusion, causing harm to the
vending industry without conferring any benefits on the
students or the schools.
The proposals in question include SB414 (Sen. Vogel) and SB210 (Sen. Barker) in the Senate, and in the House of Delegates, HBs 1067 and 1010 (Del. Athey).
"This pending legislation needs the industry's
immediate attention and action," VAMA emphasized.
"All industry professionals, VAMA members and
nonmembers, must join together to contact their
elected representatives to voice their opposition." The
association also is seeking input from operator
members on the respective profit margins of overtly
"nutritional" items in comparison with conventional
candy and snack items. They're invited to contact
VAMA's Lee Campbell by emailing
email@example.com, or calling (919) 459-6087.