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Issue Date: Vol. 51, No. 7, July 2011, Posted On: 6/10/2011

Golden State Amends Healthy Vending Machine Bill To Be Less Restrictive

Emily Jed
vending, vending machine, California Automatic Vending Council, CAVC, vending machine operator, California Assembly Business and Professional Committee, California vending machine restrictions, healthy vending, Holly Mitchell, AB 727, better-for-you criteria

SACRAMENTO -- California lawmakers have amended a bill mandating "healthy" products in vending machines on state property to require that 50% of the menu meet better-for-you criteria outlined in state law. The bill, designated AB 727, introduced by Assembly member Holly Mitchell (D-CA), previously required that 100% of products comply. | SEE STORY

Current law requires that 35% of products in vending machines on state property comply with the nutritional standards. The proposed 50% requirement would take full effect by 2016.

The bill passed the state Assembly's Business and Professional Committee on May 3 and moved on to its appropriations committee. It will now return to committee for a vote on the amendments.

The California Automatic Vendors Council said it continues to oppose the bill and argues that the current requirements are adequate. The trade group will also emphasize to legislators that imposing such restrictions places vending operators at a competitive disadvantage when cafeterias and other food outlets on state-owned property will be allowed to continue to sell snacks and beverages without restriction.

CAVC opposed the legislation when it was heard by the Assembly's Business and Professional Committee on April 12, and was successful in stopping the bill from moving forward with a vote in that hearing.

A lobbyist representing CAVC testified at both hearings in strong opposition to the proposal. The representative argued that the 100% requirement was entirely unworkable and would eliminate a vending operator's ability to provide snacks and drinks to state employees that they request and desire.

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