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FL Ag Commissioner Takes Aim At School Vending

Posted On: 5/20/2011

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vending, vending machine, vending machine ban, child obesity, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, vending machines in public schools, Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, SB 1312, school food oversight

Adam Putnam

TALLAHASSEE, FL -- Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam has proposed a bill that would restrict the use of vending machines in public schools, or remove them altogether, in an effort to curb the state's obesity epidemic among kids.

Putnam's proposal, outlined in SB 1312, would give oversight of school nutritional programs to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The bill was passed by both chambers and will move on to Gov. Rick Scott, according to online news site TheLedger.com.

The bill would give Putnam the authority to place more stringent restrictions on the foods and beverages schools can offer students, both in the cafeteria and through vending machines. The commissioner said he would target vending machines that compete with more "nutritional" options by restricting the types of products they can sell, or allowing their use only during certain parts of the day.

Putnam said he's not inclined to ban vending machines completely, provided new regulations ensure improved nutritional value of foods available to schoolchildren.