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COKE HIRES PR FLACKS TO PROTECT SCHOOL VENDING MACHINES (post under SOS)
Wed, 26 Sep 2001 06:53:16 -0500
Ronnie Cummins <email@example.com>
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COKE PROTECTS SCHOOL VENDING MACHINES
Coca-Cola has hired (the public relations firm) Holland & Knight to ward off
Federal restrictions on "vending machines" in schools, according to the
firm's Lobbying Disclosure Act.
Sen. Patrick Leahy, who represents dairy state Vermont, has introduced a
bill that would prohibit schools participating in the national school lunch
program from selling soda and candy.
"The Better Nutrition for School Children Act of 2001" tightens U.S.
Agriculture rules under the lunch plan.
It requires that "sodas and other unhealthy snacks not be sold or given to
students in school during meals."
Leahy, when introducing the bill, noted that many schools earn revenue via
exclusive contracts with soft drink companies and commissions on sales.
The Democrat, however, said children should "not pay the price when we give
soft drink companies free reign to market their products in schools.
"Schoolchildren are a captive market for soda vendors," said Leahy.
The Senator also cited an Ag Dept. study that found that soda consumption
contributes to child obesity and diabetes.
H&K partner Michael Hatcher along with Weldon Latham, Amy Nee and Susan
Santana are lobbyists for Coke.