Food & Tobacco

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FDA Moves to Restrict Flavored E-Cigarette Sales

March 14, 2019

FDA Moves to Restrict Flavored E-Cigarette Sales

The Food and Drug Administration issued a proposal March 13 to restrict sales of flavored e-cigarettes and require that retailers establish adult-only areas or take other steps to limit access to flavored e-cigarettes to anyone under age 18. The move marks the latest in a string of aggressive steps targeting convenience stores and other smaller format retail establishments that sell tobacco and e-cigarette products, including truckstops, in recent weeks.

FDA Aggressively Targets, Threatens Convenience Stores over E-Cigarette Sales

March 5, 2019

FDA Aggressively Targets, Threatens Convenience Stores over E-Cigarette Sales

In the last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has taken several aggressive steps that target convenience stores and other smaller format retail establishments that sell tobacco and e-cigarette and vaping products. It is part of a growing history of FDA Administrator Scott Gottlieb targeting the convenience store industry. Last year, in a televised interview on CNBC, Administrator Gottlieb specifically mentioned "truckstops" when citing stores that do not sufficiently comply with underage tobacco sales restrictions. NATSO is very troubled by such remarks and any effort to specifically target travel centers or convenience stores.

NATSO Welcomes Furloughed Food and Nutrition Service Employees

January 29, 2019

NATSO Welcomes Furloughed Food and Nutrition Service Employees

NATSO joined a letter with other organizations welcoming furloughed employees of the Food and Nutrition Service, which administers the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps), back to work after having been furloughed during the government shutdown.

SNAP Retailers Urged to Inform SNAP Beneficiaries of Early Benefits

January 16, 2019

SNAP Retailers Urged to Inform SNAP Beneficiaries of Early Benefits

As the current partial government shutdown continues into its fourth week, one of the lingering concerns that may ultimately help bring politicians together to reopen the government is the potential for SNAP beneficiaries to lose out on their benefits if the government is not reopened. (The Department of Agriculture (USDA), which administers the SNAP program, is not currently funded.) To avoid this issue for the month of February, USDA will be distributing February benefits in the month of January; no new benefits will be distributed in February.

FDA Proposes Drastic Limitation on E-Cigarette Sales

November 15, 2018

FDA Proposes Drastic Limitation on E-Cigarette Sales

In a policy statement issued Nov. 15, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced the agency’s decision to move forward with significant restrictions on the sale of e-cigarettes, flavored cigars and menthol cigarettes.

FDA Initiates Action Targeting E-Cigarette Retailers, Manufacturers

September 14, 2018

FDA Initiates Action Targeting E-Cigarette Retailers, Manufacturers

The Food and Drug Administration has put the makers of electronic cigarettes on notice that they have sixty days to demonstrate that they can keep their devices away from minors, warning that failure to do so could resulting in flavored electronic cigarette products being removed from the market. The FDA also announced that it was sending letters to more than one thousand retailers, including convenience stores and fuel retailers -- along with issuing fines for selling e-cigarettes to minors.

NATSO Writes USDA Opposing Changes to SNAP Application Form

June 4, 2018

NATSO Writes USDA Opposing Changes to SNAP Application Form

NATSO has written a letter to the Department of Agriculture (USDA) urging the agency to reconsider proposed changes to the application form that retailers must submit to redeem SNAP benefits.  The proposed updates to the form included specific references to sales data of particular product categories (such as tobacco and alcohol). NATSO's letter expressed concern that USDA is requiring retailers to provide more information than is necessary, and urged USDA to revise the form to avoid dissuading travel centers from participating in SNAP.

NATSO Analysis: Tobacco Policy Update

April 30, 2018

NATSO Analysis: Tobacco Policy Update

Two recent developments underscore the need for all NATSO members that sell tobacco products to ensure that they are not selling tobacco products -- including e-cigarettes and vaping products -- to minors: A recent "enforcement blitz" specifically targeting retailers of JUUL products; and the Food and Drug Administration's victory in a lawsuit allowing FDA to fine retailers for multiple violations as a result of a single inspection (which NATSO had long argued is impermissible under federal law). Together these developments underscore the need for NATSO members to have strong employee training programs in place to ensure they are complying with federal law.

Farm Bill Advances in House, Includes SNAP Program Changes

April 20, 2018

Farm Bill Advances in House, Includes SNAP Program Changes

The House Agriculture Committee advanced H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, to the full House for consideration by a vote of 26 to 20. Introduced by House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX), the legislation would reauthorize many U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which is offered by many convenience stores owned and operated by truckstops and travel plazas.

House Passes Menu Labeling Legislation

February 6, 2018

House Passes Menu Labeling Legislation

The U.S. House of Representatives on Feb. 6 voted 266-157 in favor of H.R. 772, the "Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act of 2017."

FDA Unveils New Tobacco Age-Verification Program for Retailers

November 21, 2017

FDA Unveils New Tobacco Age-Verification Program for Retailers

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this month unveiled a new age-verification program for retailers that offers training and point-of-purchase materials free of charge to encourage compliance with the agency’s rules against selling tobacco products to minors.

NATSO ANALYSIS: FDA Menu Labeling Guidance

November 14, 2017

NATSO ANALYSIS: FDA Menu Labeling Guidance

The Food and Drug Administration has released non-binding guidance on the menu labeling regulations that are currently scheduled to take effect in May 2018. The regulations apply to restaurants, convenience stores, and supermarkets with 20 or more locations. As a general matter, the guidance document provides little additional clarification and underscores the need for legislation to lessen the unnecessary burdens that certain convenience stores and restaurant models will face under the new rules.

FDA Issues Menu-Labeling Draft Guidance

November 9, 2017

FDA Issues Menu-Labeling Draft Guidance

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued draft guidance on the menu-labeling rule that requires companies to post calorie information on menus and menu boards in chain restaurants and similar retail food establishments with 20 or more locations.

NATSO, SNAP Retailers Oppose Additional Processing Fees

October 6, 2017

NATSO, SNAP Retailers Oppose Additional Processing Fees

NATSO joined eight trade associations representing thousands of food retailers in urging Congress to reject recent proposals to impose new processing and credit card swipe fees on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) authorized retailers as higher costs and administrative complexities threaten their ability to provide affordable food to vulnerable Americans.

NATSO, Food Retailers Urge FDA to Revise Menu-Labeling Rules

September 11, 2017

NATSO, Food Retailers Urge FDA to Revise Menu-Labeling Rules

Executives from trade associations representing the grocery, convenience and pizza industries, including NATSO President and CEO Lisa Mullings, on Sept. 8 urged the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to revise the menu-labeling rule to make it easier for the industries to comply with the regulation to provide accurate nutritional information to customers as well as eliminate the possibility of criminal penalties for violations.

Use We Card Awareness Month To Highlight Compliance

September 1, 2017

Use We Card Awareness Month To Highlight Compliance

We Card Awareness Month gets un­derway in September, and the event is a great time for truckstop and trav­el plaza operators to train or re-train employees on the Food and Drug Ad­ministration’s regulations and state law compliance.

Tobacco Update: Trump FDA Continues Aggressive Opposition to Cigarettes, More Open to E-Cigs

August 14, 2017

Tobacco Update: Trump FDA Continues Aggressive Opposition to Cigarettes, More Open to E-Cigs

The first several months of the Trump Administration have brought with them no shortage of eye-catching, newsworthy headlines. Perhaps lost among the crowd, however, have been several developments on the tobacco space that NATSO members, as tobacco retailers, should understand.

NATSO Urges FDA to Revise Final Menu Labeling Rules

August 3, 2017

NATSO Urges FDA to Revise Final Menu Labeling Rules

NATSO on Aug. 2 urged the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to revise the final menu labeling rules to make it easier for the truckstop and travel plaza industry to comply with the regulation to provide accurate nutritional information to customers as well as eliminate the possibility of criminal penalties for violations.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Advances Menu Labeling Reform

July 28, 2017

House Energy and Commerce Committee Advances Menu Labeling Reform

On Thursday, July 27, the House Energy and Commerce Committee advanced H.R. 772, the “Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act,” by a vote of 39-14.

NATSO, Food Retailers Urge House Committee to Support Menu Labeling Reform

July 27, 2017

NATSO, Food Retailers Urge House Committee to Support Menu Labeling Reform

NATSO joined more than 200 businesses and trade associations representing the food retail sector in urging members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee to approve the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act (H.R. 772), bipartisan legislation that would provide food retailers with greater flexibility under the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) final menu labeling rule.

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