Deadline Almost Here For Commenting On Calorie Disclosure Rules; Take Some Time To Do Your Part

The deadline for commenting on calorie disclosure rules for vending machines is less than one week away. After July 5, 2011, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will begin evaluating the comments on the proposed rules. The FDA will then decide on final rules. The rules will become law one year after they are announced.Those vending operators who have not yet commented should take the time to visit the FDA Website and review the rule: http://www.regulations.gov/#%21submitComment;D=FDA-2011-F-0171-0001Its impossible to determine at this point what the FDA will require. The rules could make life very difficult for operators, depending on how and where operators must display the information.An FDA spokesperson implored vending operators at the recent national expo to give suggestions.This official, Felicia Billingslea, insisted that FDA wants the rules to be feasible for our industry.The National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) has suggested the FDA require a poster in close proximity to the covered vending machine food or selection button. NAMA also supports allowing electronic and front of package nutrition information.At the same time, some individuals and organizations outside of our industry have called for stricter rules. There are people out there who genuinely believe vending machines are a threat to our nations health.Vending operators who want to know more about the proposed regulation but dont want to read through the entire document have an option. Operators can go to the NAMA Website, www.vending.org, and review an easy-to-understand document from FDA official Felicia Billingslea. The NAMA Website has the outline for Ms. Billingsleas presentation at the NAMA Expo in Chicago.Once the final rules are announced, it will be very difficult to change them.Operators will not be able to say they werent given an opportunity to comment.

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