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HHS/FDA RIN: 0910-AG56 Publication ID: Fall 2013 
Title: Food Labeling: Calorie Labeling of Articles of Food Sold in Vending Machines 
Abstract: FDA published a proposed rule to establish requirements for nutrition labeling of certain food items sold in certain vending machines. FDA also proposed the terms and conditions for vending machine operators registering to voluntarily be subject to the requirements. FDA is issuing a final rule, and taking this action to carry out section 4205 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. 
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services(HHS)  Priority: Economically Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage 
Major: Yes  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: Not Yet Determined     (To search for a specific CFR, visit the Code of Federal Regulations.)
Legal Authority: 21 USC 321    21 USC 343    21 USC 371   
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need: This rulemaking was mandated by section 4205 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Affordable Care Act).

Summary of the Legal Basis: On March 23, 2010, the Affordable Care Act (Pub. L. 111-148) was signed into law. Section 4205 amended 403(q)(5) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) by, among other things, creating new clause (H) to require that vending machine operators, who own or operate 20 or more machines, disclose calories for certain food items. FDA has the authority to issue this rule under sections 403(q)(5)(H) and 701(a) of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. 343(q)(5)(H), and 371(a)). Section 701(a) of the FD&C Act vests the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and, by delegation, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with the authority to issue regulations for the efficient enforcement of the FD&C Act.

Alternatives: Section 4205 of the Affordable Care Act requires the Secretary (and by delegation, the FDA) to establish by regulation requirements for calorie labeling of articles of food sold from covered vending machines. Therefore, there are no alternatives to rulemaking. FDA has analyzed alternatives that may reduce the burden of the rulemaking, including analyzing the benefits and costs of: Restricting the flexibility of the format for calorie disclosure, lengthening the compliance time, and extending the coverage of the rule to bulk vending machines without selection buttons.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits: Any vending machine operator operating fewer than 20 machines may voluntarily choose to be covered by the national standard. It is anticipated that vending machine operators that own or operate 20 or more vending machines will bear costs associated with adding calorie information to vending machines. FDA initially estimated that the total cost of complying with section 4205 of the Affordable Care Act and this rulemaking would be approximately $25.8 million initially, with a recurring cost of approximately $24 million. Because comprehensive national data for the effects of vending machine labeling do not exist, FDA has not quantified the benefits associated with section 4205 of the Affordable Care Act and this rulemaking. Some studies have shown that some consumers consume fewer calories when calorie content information is displayed at the point of purchase. Consumers will benefit from having this important nutrition information to assist them in making healthier choices when consuming food away from home. Given the very high costs associated with obesity and its associated health risks, FDA estimates that if 0.02 percent of the adult obese population reduces energy intake by at least 100 calories per week, then the benefits of section 4205 of the Affordable Care Act and this rulemaking would be at least as large as the costs.

Risks: Americans now consume an estimated one-third of their total calories from foods prepared outside the home and spend almost half of their food dollars on such foods. This rule will provide consumers with information about the nutritional content of food to enable them to make healthier food choices, and may help mitigate the trend of increasing obesity in America.

Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  04/06/2011  76 FR 19238   
NPRM Comment Period End  07/05/2011    
Final Action  02/00/2014 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes  Government Levels Affected: Federal, Local, State 
Small Entities Affected: Businesses, Governmental Jurisdictions  Federalism: Yes 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: Yes 
Agency Contact:
Daniel Reese
Food Technologist
Department of Health and Human Services
Food and Drug Administration
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, 5100 Paint Branch Parkway,
College Park, MD 20740
Phone:240 402-2126