Hearing February 1st on Food Marketing Bill in Nebraska

The Agriculture Committee of the Nebraska Legislature will hold a hearing on February 1st on the bill that would impose serious restrictions on the sale and marketing of kids meals by restaurants and convenience stores. 

ANA is working with our member companies and local industry groups in Nebraska to oppose this bill, which raises a number of serious First Amendment and commerce clause issues.  We will be filing comments which address these concerns and outline the various proactive steps that marketers and the advertising community have taken to address childhood obesity. 

If your company conducts business in Nebraska, it would be very helpful if you would contact members of the committee to express your opposition to this proposal.  Contact information for the committee is available here.

The “Children’s Health and Responsible Corporate Marketing Act” (LB 126) was introduced on January 6th by Senator Bill Avery.  The bill would restrict the sale and marketing of “packaged children’s meals” that include a toy or other “consumer incentive item” unless the meals meet specific nutrition requirements: does not exceed 500 calories; does not exceed 10% of calories from saturated fat with a maximum of 6 grams saturated fat; contains no more than one-half gram artificial trans fat per item in the meal; does not exceed 10% of calories from added sugars; does not exceed 640 milligrams of sodium; includes one cup of fruits or vegetables, not including fried vegetables.

Under the bill, any violation of the Act is declared a Class IV misdemeanor and the Department of Agriculture is also authorized to impose civil fines of up to $1,000 per day or activity for any violations.

The text of the bill is available here

If you have any information about this bill or proposals in any other states to tax or restrict food and beverage advertising, please contact Keith Scarborough, Senior Vice President for Government Relations in ANA’s Washington, DC office at kscarborough@ana.net or (202) 296-1883.