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Vending machines must have calorie counts posted for each item

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The federal government is now going to require that vending machines post the calorie count of the items in the machines, according to a Huffington Post article on Saturday. Approximately 5 million vending machines throughout the country will be affected.

The Food and Drug Administration in the United States is going to release the final rules early in 2014 for the new law. Unfortunately, the estimated cost to the vending machine industry is $25.8 million at first – and $24 million annually after that.

The new law will apply to approximately 10,800 companies that have 20 or more operative machines. According to the National Automatic Merchandising Association, approximately 75 percent of the companies have less than four employees - and these companies have a very low profit margin. Eric Dell, the vice president for government affairs at the National Automatic Merchandising Association says that the initial investment of $2,400 – followed by an annual expense of $2,200 – is a great deal of money for a small company that clears just a few thousand dollars annually.

Critics say that the new law is outrageous. They assert that persons who care about calories have already read the labels on the foods they are buying at the vending machine and it doesn’t need to be reposted. Also, critics cite the fact that there has been little positive effect with restaurants and fast-food chains who have already started posting calorie information on their menus.

The government facility asserts that if the posted calorie counts curb a person from consuming just 100 extra calories per week, it is going to help decrease health care costs in the United States.

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