Snack Attack: Obama Administration Set to Seek Ban on Vending Machines With Sugarly Snacks and Drinks

President Barack Obama is preparing to ask Congress to ban vending machines of sugary snacks and drinks. It could raise another fight over federalism.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the administration will seek changes when Congress overhauls the Childhood Nutrition Act. It is a worthy goal to say the least. However, there is a serious constitutional question over the federal government’s increasing role in dictating specific policies in local school systems. Often Congress conditions federal funds on states complying with such guidelines. The use of such conditions has long raised federalism concerns, though the courts have largely upheld such conditions (as opposed to direct legislative bans).

Obviously, states should not have to be told by the federal government to rid our schools of such junk food. It is beyond me how educators would choose small vendor fees over student health. However, states’ rights advocates complain that Congress has found a way around federalism protections by collecting more taxes than the federal government requires in order to return the money to the states with such mandates or conditions. There may be good reasons to consider the federalization of the entire school system to guarantee uniformity and excellence. However, that is not the system that we have. Schools (with police powers) are the touchstone of federalism principles. This could prove an interesting fight over not the merits but the means of the federal plan.

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64 thoughts on “Snack Attack: Obama Administration Set to Seek Ban on Vending Machines With Sugarly Snacks and Drinks”

  1. Canadian eh,

    I missed a lot of TV in the 80’s through the mid 00’s. I did not realize that 2.5 men was a TV series.

  2. AY,
    To be honest I’ve never even seen the movie either, they had a tv show back in the 80’s.

  3. I will have to admit to it, I have not seen it. Sounds good, knowing my humor and all…..

  4. Seems to me like it should be the responsibility of the child’s parents to decide what their kids can or cant eat. If you don’t like what is being served at the school, then make lunch for your child to take to school.

  5. The military has access to students contact info, for recruiting purposes, via the Vitter amendment of no child left behind act. In return the the government should be required to do something beneficial, in reparation, by removing the literal poison of junk food from schools.

    If the administration were smart, they would use this initiative to proceed to an actual health-promoting “reform” using the suggestion of Alexander Cockburn.

    Round up the CEOs of the top 100 junk/fast food industry and publicly execute them.

  6. Byron,
    ” they do have diet Dr. Pepper so you are ok. “.

    Thank-you for reminding me. I have a bit of an addiction to “Mug Diet Root Beer ” I’m having one right now, checked the label and there is no HFSC….wooo hooo!!!

    ” Wasn’t that a SCTV skit? I am not sure I remember where I saw it. Did he have a brother? ”

    I think it did start as an SCTV skit, but later evolved to an entity all it’s own. Bob & Doeg McKenzie, the great Canadian Hoser’s. You should check it out. I’m not sure how funny they are to Americans but there was a time, many years ago, when every Canadian ( I could be exagerating ) knew all of their catch phrases. They would frequesntly emerge at parties that would follow the Saturday night hockey victory,after the
    ” boys ” with their hot ” hockey hair cuts “got into their
    ” cases of 24 ” ( Molson anything was the beer of choice.)

  7. Comparing CPB with corporations like Exxon and Halliburton is a facile comparison. The argument isn’t about what you put in your body by choice. The argument is about regulating business. And all it takes is one corporation to do something really stupid. “Well most of the criminals don’t want us dead! They just want us alive so they can steal from us.” There is not a lot of difference in your assertion and that statement.

    Think a company with the “ethics” of an Exxon or an Enron or an AIG but they specialize in genetics. Instead of an oil spill, they create a super bug.


    Eat what you want before bed time. Morning may not come. Sleep tight with your beloved deregulation.

  8. But regulation is required or corporations will kill us all in their amoral quest for profits.

    Even the Corporation for Public Broadcasting? But seriously, most corporations want us to live so we can keep buying their products. And a corporation can’t kill me with bad food. Only I can do that.

    If abortion should be legal (as I believe it should) because the government doesn’t own a woman’s body, then all of us should be allowed to put whatever we want in our bodies.

  9. Canadian Eh:

    “Something that I shouldn;t admit on a thread where I have condemned the consumption of HFCS!!!”

    they do have diet Dr. Pepper so you are ok.

  10. Wasn’t that a SCTV skit? I am not sure I remember where I saw it. Did he have a brother?

    Oh Bruther Puker.

  11. You smoothing talking devil, you. 😀

    “I’d kiss you if I didn’t have puke breath.” – Doug McKenzie in “Strange Brew”

  12. I cannot imagine that at all actually. I don;t like beer at all, although Dr. Pepper & rum sounds like an interesting mix. Something that I shouldn;t admit on a thread where I have condemned the consumption of HFCS!!!

  13. Can you imagine drinking real bock beer that had set thorough 2 seasons in the sun?

    Or in my case a mix of Dr Pepper and Rum.

    Truth be, both I have done or it seemed that the bock had set out in the sun.

    Then I knelt before the toilet, asking mercy to extolling it.

    It reminds me of drinking Genasee Cream Ale that I once had in up state NY.

  14. I agree, I quite enjoy reading his posts…..seill however sounds really disguisting

  15. Nah, Buddha is a good person. A little green some days, but mostly very educational and informative.

  16. I think I’d prefer to stick with the DayQuil……although swill would certainly turn me green

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