March 10, 2014

Vending Machine Regulations Aren't Worth the Price

Sherzod Abdukadirov

Former Research Fellow
Summary

As the Food and Drug Administration inches closer to issuing rules that would require vending machines to display calorie labels, a bipartisan group of lawmakers is arguing for less onerous alternatives. Yet these alternatives still can’t salvage the rule, which will cost $26 million to implement and then $24 million each year in ongoing costs.

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As the Food and Drug Administration inches closer to issuing rules that would require vending machines to display calorie labels, a bipartisan group of lawmakers is arguing for less onerous alternatives. Yet these alternatives still can’t salvage the rule, which will cost $26 million to implement and then $24 million each year in ongoing costs.

The proposed alternatives focus on reducing the regulation’s costs but fail to address the real underlying problem – the rule is unlikely to produce any benefits. The FDA’s own analysis struggled to justify the rule and ultimately failed to do so. But instead of admitting that the regulation will not work, the FDA is proceeding with a wasteful effort.

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