Health Care Bill Extends Federal Control over Vending Machines

By November 9, 2009Regulations, Taxation

From H.R. 3962, Affordable Health Care for America Act, the government control over health care bill passed Saturday by the U.S. House.

SEC. 2572. NUTRITION LABELING OF STANDARD MENU ITEMS AT CHAIN RESTAURANTS AND OF ARTICLES OF FOOD SOLD FROM VENDING MACHINES.

`(viii) VENDING MACHINES- In the case of an article of food sold from a vending machine that–

`(I) does not permit a prospective purchaser to examine the Nutrition Facts Panel before purchasing the article or does not otherwise provide visible nutrition information at the point of purchase; and

`(II) is operated by a person who is engaged in the business of owning or operating 20 or more vending machines,

the vending machine operator shall provide a sign in close proximity to each article of food or the selection button that includes a clear and conspicuous statement disclosing the number of calories contained in the article.

The new labeling requirements will impose millions of dollars on the vending and snack food industries, with purely theoretical benefits. (See New York Times, “Labels and Gay Benefits in Health Bill.”) And it’s probably the first step toward more federal regulation and costs. As in ….

Snack food, the new tobacco. First, control and then segregate the vending machines, then single out snack foods for punitive taxes, and then…the litigation!

Well, at least the federal labeling mandate is well grounded in Constitutional principles and the writings of the Founders.

 

 

Leave a Reply