Ned Monroe, senior vice president of government affairs at the National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA), issued a bulletin noting relevant points in the Food and Drug Administration's regulations for calorie disclosure in vending machines, as VendingMarketWatch reported on Monday, April 4, 2011.
NAMA will submit comments on behalf of the industry and will also circulate draft comments that individual members can use as a starting point for their comments.
Monroe noted the following points about the proposed regulations:
- The FDA agrees with the comments that a sign that is a poster may be an appropriate medium to convey the required calorie declarations, so long as the sign is in close proximity to the covered vending machine food or selection button. The agency tentatively concludes that "close proximity" could mean adjacent to the vending machine, but not necessarily attached, so long as the sign adjacent to the machine is clear and conspicuous at the same time as the food, its name, or its selection button or selection number is visible.
- FDA tentatively concludes that "front of package" nutrition information could be a way to provide visible nutrition information, so long as the criteria for color, font and type size are met and total calories in the article of food are included.
- FDA is proposing that the final rule become effective one year from the date of its publication. So no calorie disclosure rules are likely to be in effect until the middle of 2012.
- Per operator costs are estimated to be $2,400. FDA estimates that average per machine costs are less than $10 annually. This is considerably less than the FDA estimated last year.
The public has 90 to review and send comments to the FDA on their vending proposal.
In addition, NAMA will have a session on these proposed rules at the One Show. Felicia Billingslea, director of the food labeling and standards staff in the Office of Nutrition, Labeling and Dietary Supplements at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The session will be held at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, April 27 at McCormick Place.