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Machine out of order

The good news: Toronto students won’t be limited to aspartame-sweetened diet pop.

The bad news: they won’t be able to buy anything — including water and juice — if a recommendation to ban vending machines from all schools by September is approved.

Toronto District School Board Trustees voted yesterday to not extend the current contract with Pepsi Co., slated to expire on Aug. 31, citing concerns that the soft-drink company will offer only-aspartame sweetened pop in high schools starting next year.

If the committee recommendation is approved by the board, vending machines in all, including elementary schools which only sell water, juice and milk, will be gone by the end of the summer.

The decision passed without much debate at the TDSB office in North York.

“I don’t think as an educational body, we should not be promoting any items that do not contribute to the well-being young people,” said Ward 17 trustee Michael Couteau, after citing a number of studies researching the potential long term side-effects of aspartame.

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