June 26, 2014
Source: The New York Times
The Bloomberg big-soda ban is officially dead.
The state’s highest court on Thursday refused to reinstate New York City’s controversial limits on sales of jumbo sugary drinks, exhausting the city’s final appeal and handing a major victory to the American soft-drink industry, which bitterly opposed the plan. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE
State’s top court eyes Board of Health’s goal to ban large sugary drinks
June 5, 2014
Source: New York Post
ALBANY — Lawyers for New York City argued before the state’s highest Court Wednesday that the Board of Health has sweeping powers allowing it to restrict the size of sugary drinks — leading a judge to question if it might also get around to outlawing Big Macs and M&M’s.
In a closely watched case with national implications, city lawyers sought to overturn lower-court rulings that the health panel had exceeded its authority in 2012 when it limited the size of sweetened beverages in restaurants to 16 ounces. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE
Seattle raises minimum wage to $15 an hour, highest in U.S.
June 2, 2014
Source: Los Angeles Times
This progressive and expensive city struck a blow against rising income inequality Monday when the City Council voted unanimously to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, the highest municipal minimum of any metropolis in the country and the rallying cry of fast-food workers and union organizers nationwide..
With the council chambers standing room only and supporters waving signs declaring “Seattle needs a raise” and “$15 good work Seattle,” council members approved the new ordinance, which will go into effect on April 1, 2015, and be phased in over the next three to seven years depending on the size of the business. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE
Vermont lawmakers send GMO food-labeling law to governor
April 23, 2014
A law that would make Vermont the first U.S. state to enact mandatory labeling of foods made with genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, received final approval from state lawmakers on Wednesday and now heads to the governor’s desk.
The Vermont House of Representative passed the bill 114-30. Last week, the Vermont Senate, by a vote of 28-2, approved the measure, which requires foods containing GMOs sold at retail outlets to be labeled as having been produced or partially produced with “genetic engineering.” CLICK HERE TO READ MORE
NLRB to Consider Proposed Rule on Union
April 4, 2014
The National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) is asking its members and members of other trade groups such as NAC to contact their lawmakers regarding this important issue.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or “Board”) has recently proposed an expansive rule to change the Board’s procedures for union election campaigns in the workplace. The rule was first proposed in 2011, but was halted from implementation due to a court ruling that determined that the Board used improper procedures to adopt it.
The Board received 65,958 written comments from organizations and employers expressing concern about the effect of the 2011 rule, and yet despite this significant response, the current proposed rule is essentially the same as the version introduced in 2011. More specifically, the proposed rule contains a number of detrimental provisions. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE
NATO Urges Redefinition of 40 Hour Work Week Under ACA
April 1, 2014
The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) is asking its members and members of other trade groups such as NAC to contact their lawmakers regarding this important issue.
The letter to lawmakers found at the hyperlink can be edited, and NATO encourages you to do so. To send, simply enter your zip code to identify your Member of Congress, provide your contact information, and click the “Send Message” button. The letter is already customized to reflect whether your lawmaker is a current cosponsor of H.R. 2575. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE
California Lawmaker Proposes Warning Labels to Sodas
February 13, 2014
Source: L.A. Times
Citing studies linking soda to obesity, a state lawmaker and medical experts proposed a first-in-the-nation bill Thursday that sugary drinks sold in California carry health warning labels similar to those on cigarette packs. They want warning labels on the fronts of all cans and bottles of soda and juice drinks that have sugar added and 75 or more calories per 12 ounces. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE
Under New Food Safety Law, Bartenders Have to Wear Gloves
January 14, 2014
Source: L.A. Times
Chefs aren’t the only ones affected by a new food safety law that bans culinary workers from touching certain foods with their bare hands. Like chefs, bartenders have to wear gloves or use other utensils to make their drinks. No touching ice, fruit garnishes or anything else that goes directly into your glass.
Changes to the California Retail Food Code that went into effect at the beginning of 2014 require disposable gloves or utensils such as tongs, paper or scoops to be used when handling “ready-to-eat” foods, which include sushi, bread, deli meats and fresh fruit and vegetables. Basically, nothing that won’t be cooked or reheated before it goes out to diners can be touched with bare hands.
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE.
Malloy Serves Up Historic GMO Labeling Law
December 11, 2013
Source: Danbury Daily Voice
FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Fairfield restaurant Catch A Healthy Habit hosted Gov. Dannel Malloy and local lawmakers Wednesday afternoon for the official signing of a historic state law that requires food products to be labeled if they contain genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. Four other states must enact similar GMO laws before the labeling can begin. The combined population of the five states must number at least 20 million people and include Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania or New Jersey. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE
Food industry presses for voluntary GMO labeling standards
November 27, 2013
Source: The Hill
Crucial players in the American food industry are pressing for legislation that would institute a national voluntary labeling system for products that contain genetically engineered ingredients, according to documents obtained by The Hill. The effort follows expensive battles in California and Washington over state ballot initiatives seeking to impose mandatory labeling regulations for foodstuffs containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs). CLICK HERE TO READ MORE
FDA Chief Says Menu Labeling Regulations Coming Soon
November 8, 2013
Source: Convenience Store News
WASHINGTON, D.C. — New regulations regarding menu labeling and calorie information are expected to be released soon, but writing the rules has proved more complicated than expected, according to a report by The Hill.
At a Nov. 5 event sponsored by Bloomberg Government, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said she originally anticipated that the process of issuing the regulations, which are mandated by the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, “[would] be one of the most straightforward tasks. Little did I know how complicated it would be.” CLICK HERE TO READ MORE
Tax on Soda to be Floated in San Francisco
October 28, 2013
Source: San Francisco Chronicle
Now it’s time for San Francisco to take its turn in the sugary beverage battle. Supervisor Scott Wiener plans this week to introduce a ballot measure that would set a tax on sugary beverages. The proceeds would fund health, nutrition and activity programs for city youth. Wiener’s proposal would levy a tax of 24 cents on each can of soda sold in the city, where fast-food restaurants are already prohibited from handing out free toys in kids’ meals high in fat, salt and sugar. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE
New York Soda Ban to Go Before State’s Top Court
October 22, 2013
Source: The New York Times
The battle over big sodas is not yet finished. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s ballyhooed and much-criticized attempt to limit the size of sugary drinks in New York City is set to be reviewed by the state’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, the city announced on Thursday, offering a final chance to salvage a plan that has twice been rejected by judges as improper. But the fate of the proposal now lies squarely in the hands of Mr. Bloomberg’s successor. The Court of Appeals is not planning to take up the case until next year, after Mr. Bloomberg is out of office, leaving the decision to pursue the case up to the next mayor. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE
Mexico Takes Bloomberg-Like Swing at Soaring Obesity
October 16, 2013
Source: New York Times
In a bet against an epidemic of obesity and diabetes, President Enrique Peña Nieto has proposed a tax on sales of all sugary drinks. If it goes through, the tax will make Mexico a rare test case of a national soda tax directed at a severe obesity problem. The proposal has set off heated arguments in Mexico, but in the middle of the debate is an anti-obesity crusader from New York, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. Beyond his push to limit the sale of large sugary drinks in his own city, Mr. Bloomberg’s foundation is helping to finance the drive to curb them in Mexico as well. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE
ACA Notice – No Penalty for Noncompliance with Notice Requirement
September 16, 2013
The following is a link to an FAQ on the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) website that confirms no penalty will be imposed for failing to comply with a notice requirement under the Affordable Care Act, which requires an employer to notify its employees on or before October 1, 2013, (i) about the Health Exchange, and (ii) as to whether the employer will offer health-care coverage to its employees. This notice requirement was discussed by Russell Hollrath, Esq. of Hollrath LLC during the Government Relations Panel at the 2013 NAC Conference & Trade Show in New Orleans. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE