Industry fails to halt French ban on school vending machines

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Nutrition, Food

The French government last night rejected an amendment to its ban
on vending machines in secondary schools, set to be introduced in
September, writes Dominique Patton.

Members of the ruling UMP party wanted to amend the law by adding an article to allow vending machines to provide products such as fruit or healthy drinks or foods that could be approved on a list drawn up by the education and health departments.

They claim that the new law will result in the loss of jobs among the small and medium-sized businesses that supply vending machines, and referred to a statement issued in September last year by the French food safety authority (AFSSA) that said the ban should not have any effect on bottled water or fruit.

However Yves Bur, vice-president of the governing party the UMP, denounced the amendment as the result of intensive lobbying by distributors of foods and fizzy drinks for venching mahciens.

The amendment is the third attempt in the last year to overturn the planned law.

In a statement the politician said that the lobbying merely aimed to preserve economic interests without taking into account the health of French children.

Around 16 per cent of French children are said to be overweight or obese, double that of 15 years ago. Five million adults in the country are obese.

AFSSA also reacted to the proposed change by stating that while it was not opposed to water being available in schools, fruit should be offered as part of a meal and not through vending machines, which would encourage snacking.

Related topics: Regulation & Policy, Suppliers

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