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NATSO Urges Administration Review of Menu Labeling Requirements
February 16, 2017
NATSO urged the Trump Administration to closely scrutinize menu labeling requirements and to consider revising the regulations to reduce the burden of compliance for travel stores and convenience stores.
As NATSO members are aware, the FDA's menu-labeling rule presents a number of complexities for travel stores and convenience stores that sell prepared food and is exceedingly burdensome for small business franchisees. The rule requires any chain restaurant or convenience store with 20 or more locations to display calorie counts on menus and menu boards for all prepared and packaged food items for sale. FDA is currently scheduled to begin enforcing calorie labeling requirements May 5, 2017.
NATSO has prepared a summary and compliance guide detailing the final rule and the steps NATSO members must take to comply.
Earlier this month, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) – the Administration’s central clearinghouse for all regulatory matters – released Interim Guidance to Executive Branch agencies to assist those agencies in complying with President Trump’s directive to reduce the general regulatory burden on American businesses. As part of the Interim Guidance, OMB accepted public comments on how the Executive Branch should accomplish that goal.
NATSO, along with three other retail trade associations, submitted detailed comments to OMB, stating the FDA’s menu labeling regulation is the perfect example of a rule where the Administration can reduce the regulatory burdens on businesses while still achieving the underlying objective of the rule. NATSO offered concreate steps the FDA can take to revise its rule before the May 5 compliance deadline. In addition to NATSO, the letter was signed by the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), and the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America (SIGMA).
NATSO is also advocating for legislation on Capitol Hill that would remedy the many problems associated with FDA’s menu labeling requirements. Earlier this month, legislation was introduced in the House (H.R. 772) and Senate (S. 261) that would require FDA to revise its current menu-labeling rules to make it easier for food retailers and restaurant operators to comply while also revising the enforcement and liability rules to eliminate excessive and disproportionate penalties. The legislation would provide much needed flexibility to fuel retailers and shield them from possible criminal penalties under the FDA menu-labeling rules.
Read a copy of NATSO’s letter here.
Tiffany Wlazlowski Neuman
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