By approving a bill that would ban the sale of many foods in schools, the California Senate has effectively voted to reduce the power of local school boards, according to GMA.

The legislation, billed as an attempt to combat childhood obesity, does virtually nothing to address the lack of nutrition education or access to physical activity in schools, said Kristin Power, GMA western region director for state affairs

"This is a misguided attempt at addressing childhood obesity in California," said Power. "What's worse, the bill sets up arcane rules that are patently absurd. For example, under this bill schools could sell a bag of peanuts, but not a peanut butter and jelly sandwich."

"Rather than hand down a new set of rules from Sacramento, a better approach would be to increase the availability of physical activity programs and give school boards the resources they need to teach children how to make wise choices about proper nutrition," concluded Power.

The California Senate voted 22 to 15 today in favor of SB 19, which if signed into law, would ban the sale of many foods and beverages in California's elementary and secondary schools. The bill will now go to the California Assembly Committee on Health and the Committee on Education, where it must be heard by July 13.

GMA is the world's largest association of food, beverage and consumer product companies. With U.S. sales of more than $460 billion, GMA members employ more than 2.5 million workers in all 50 states. The organization applies legal, scientific and political expertise from its member companies to vital food, nutrition and public policy issues affecting the industry. Led by a board of 44 Chief Executive Officers, GMA speaks for food and consumer product manufacturers at the state, federal and international levels on legislative and regulatory issues. The association also leads efforts to increase productivity, efficiency and growth in the food, beverage and consumer products industry.