June 28, 2001

Legislative Activity

Date: June 28, 2001

To: AAF Key Contacts

From: Clark Rector, Jr., vice president-state government affairs

Re: Senate Bill 19

Senate Bill 19, which would place onerous restrictions on what foods may be sold in schools will be considered in the Assembly Committee on Health on July 3. It is very important that you and other members of your advertising federation contact committee members and urge them to oppose SB 19.

Below is a brief description of SB 19, reasons to oppose the legislation, and a list of Health Committee members with phone numbers and email addresses where available. Please send a copy of any email you send to AAF headquarters. Do not hesitate to call me at (800) 999-2231 if you have any questions or comments. Thank you for your assistance.

Among other provisions SB 19 would:

  • Eliminate all vending and a la carte items from elementary school menus except fruits, vegetables and certain beverages.
  • Regardless of the time of day, water, milk and 100% fruit juices are the only beverages that may be sold at an elementary school.
  • Prohibit any carbonated beverage, fruit drinks with added sweeteners, and sports drinks containing more than 25 grams of sweetener from being sold at secondary schools during the school day and half an hour before and after the school day.
  • Sets new standards for foods sold at secondary schools during the school day that are outside the federal school meal program to meet ALL of the following:
    • 35% or less total calories from fat (excluding nuts and seeds)
    • 10% or less total calories from saturated fat
    • 35% or less total calories by weight from sugar (excluding fresh fruits and vegetables)
    • Beverages other than water and milk must not exceed 12 fluid ounces.
    • Require the sale of fruits and vegetables wherever and whenever "competitive foods" are sold at elementary and secondary schools.

SB 19 should be opposed because:

  • The new mandates imposed by the bill will place unnecessary burdens on already over-burdened and understaffed schools.
  • The bill will restrict the ability of schools to partner with businesses and arbitrarily remove a source of supplemental income used by many schools to pay for a variety of school activities and programs, such as athletic programs, arts and theater activities, foreign language classes, and anti-drug/anti-violence initiatives.
  • The restrictive provision of this bill prevents local school authorities from making decisions based on their individual needs and desires. Usurping local control over what foods a school system chooses to sell outside existing federal and state nutrition guidelines is unwarranted and needlessly impinges upon local autonomy.
  • A comprehensive approach to healthy lifestyle will be more productive than merely focusing on what children are offered to eat at school. The experts agree that a healthy lifestyle requires focusing on diet and physical activity.
  • California law already requires that half of all foods sold in schools outside the federal school lunch program shall be selected from a prescribed "list of nutritious foods," including dairy products, juices with at least 50% fruit juice, fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, grains, meats, legumes and some snack items such as pretzels, crackers and popcorn.
  • USDA regulations already prohibit food and beverages of minimal nutritional value from being sold during the school lunch period.
  • The bill applies fat and saturated fat standards to individual foods, as opposed to the total diet over time. For example, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that the total diet contain no more than 30 percent of calories from fat and less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fat.

California Assembly Committee on Health

Helen Thomson, Chair, D-Vacaville, (916) 319-2008, helen.thomson@assembly.ca.gov

Samuel M. Aanestad, Vice Chair, R-Grass Valley, 916) 319-2003, Assemblymember.Aanestad@assembly.ca.gov

Charlene Zettel, R-Poway, 916) 319-2075

Patricia C. Bates, R-Laguna Niguel, (916) 319-2073

Keith Richman, R-Los Angeles, (916) 319-2038, Assembmlymember.Richman@assembly.ca.gov

George Runner, R-Lancaster, (916) 319-2036, a36@assembly.ca.gov

Robert Pacheco, R-Riverside, (916) 319-2060, a60@assembly.ca.gov

Wilma Chan, D-Oakland, (916) 319-2016, Assemblymember.Chan@assembly.ca.gov

Edward Chavez D-Los Angeles, (916) 319-2057

Simon Salinas,. D-Monterey, (916) 319-2028

Howard Wayne, D-San Diego, (916) 319-2078, Howard.Wayne@assembly.ca.gov

Herb Wesson D-Los Angeles, (916) 319-2047, Assemblymember.Wesson@assembly.ca.gov

Darrell Steinberg D-Sacramento, (916) 319-2009, Assemblymember.Steinberg@assembly.ca.gov

Dario Frommer, D-Los Angeles, (916) 319-2043

Paul Koretz, D,-Los Angeles, (916) 319-2042

Gloria Negrete McLeod, D-Los Angeles, (916) 319-2061

Judy Chu, D-Los Angeles, (916) 319-2049