The health-care bill on pages 515 and 516 through the FDA requires vending machines to display calorie counts for the food they dispense.
The requirement, which wouldn’t apply for people who own fewer than 20 vending machines, is part of section of the bill that would also require chain restaurants to post calorie counts.
Anyway, it’s easy enough to see how a restaurant would add a calorie count to the menu, but it’s somewhat harder to figure out where that sort of thing would go on a vending machine. But the legislation leaves vending machine owners an out if nutritional information is clearly visible on the product packaging, through the vending machine window.
The folks from the National Automatic Merchandising Association don’t like the rule. In a story posted this morning, an official from the trade group tells NPR that following the labeling requirements would be “pretty expensive” for people who own the machines. Maybe FDA should focus on rotten eggs and salmonella poisioning instead of calories in small bags of pork rinds. Lawyers for the live bait industry are angling for exclusions..