Food & Tobacco

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NATSO, Others Urge Lawmakers to Pass Menu Labeling Reform As Compliance Deadline Approaches

April 25, 2017

NATSO, Others Urge Lawmakers to Pass Menu Labeling Reform As Compliance Deadline Approaches

NATSO and a number of its members joined more than 250 food and retail groups in urging members of the House and Senate to pass the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act of 2017 before new federal menu-labeling rules take effect May 5.

Four Steps to Preventing Underage Tobacco Sales at Your Truckstop

April 18, 2017

Four Steps to Preventing Underage Tobacco Sales at Your Truckstop

For all the various FDA regulations, there are many steps necessary to comply. Training employees is certainly one of them. However, FDA points out four “effective steps to prevent violations of the minimum age requirements for the sale of tobacco products.” They are: Adopting and enforcing a written policy against sales to minors; Informing its employees of all applicable laws; Establishing disciplinary sanctions for employee noncompliance; and Requiring employees to verify age by way of photographic identification or electronic scanning device.

FDA Issues Proposed Guidance on Distributing Free Samples of Tobacco Products

March 13, 2017

FDA Issues Proposed Guidance on Distributing Free Samples of Tobacco Products

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Tobacco Products has released a proposed guidance document explaining how manufacturers, distributors, and retailers can comply with the agency’s prohibition against distributing free samples of tobacco products. Specifically, the guidance outlines the situations in which the sale of tobacco products – including e-cigarettes – to consumers at less than their full price (e.g., coupons, discounts, rewards programs, etc.) would not violate the ban.

NATSO Urges Administration Review of Menu Labeling Requirements

February 16, 2017

NATSO Urges Administration Review of Menu Labeling Requirements

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.

NATSO Applauds Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act

February 13, 2017

NATSO Applauds Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act

NATSO joined more than 200 organizations employing millions in applauding Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) for introducing the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act (H.R. 772) that would provide food retailers greater flexibility as they seek to comply with the menu-labeling regulations and shield them from possible criminal penalties under the FDA menu-labeling rules.

Lawmakers Introduce Menu-Labeling Legislation

February 3, 2017

Lawmakers Introduce Menu-Labeling Legislation

U.S. lawmakers introduced legislation this week that would provide food retailers greater flexibility as they seek to comply with the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) menu-labeling regulations, which are set to take effect in May.

New SNAP Retailer Regulations Released -- USDA Accommodates Many Truckstop Industry Concerns

December 8, 2016

New SNAP Retailer Regulations Released -- USDA Accommodates Many Truckstop Industry Concerns

The Department of Agriculture (USDA) today released final regulations governing retailer eligibility for redeeming Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. The final rules accept many of the arguments that NATSO has made throughout the rulemaking process, both in comments filed with USDA as well as in testimony before the House Agriculture Committee.

NATSO Meets With OMB to Discuss Pending SNAP Retailer Eligibility Rule

November 21, 2016

NATSO Meets With OMB to Discuss Pending SNAP Retailer Eligibility Rule

NATSO met with the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Nov. 18 to discuss the Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) proposed regulation regarding Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as "food stamps") retailer eligibility requirements. The proposed regulation, which is expected to be finalized in a revised form before the end of the year, would functionally prohibit the convenience stores located within travel plazas from redeeming SNAP benefits.

New FDA Regulations and Graphic Warning Labels Lawsuit

October 7, 2016

New FDA Regulations and Graphic Warning Labels Lawsuit

On August 8, 2016, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began restricting retailers' ability to sell additional tobacco products beyond simply cigarettes. Such products include e-cigarettes and vaping products, rather than only traditional combustible cigarettes. These products became subject to minimum purchasing age (18) requirements and associated customer age identification verification requirements, as well as marketing and advertising restrictions and a prohibition of vending machine sales of e-cigarettes. The rules also impose these restrictions on hookah, pipe tobacco, and cigars.

NATSO, Others Urge Congress to Pass Menu Labeling Reform Legislation

September 14, 2016

NATSO, Others Urge Congress to Pass Menu Labeling Reform Legislation

NATSO and a coalition of more than 200 food and retail groups is urging Congress to enact the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act of 2015 (H.R. 2017, S. 2217) before the end of the year to address remaining problems with the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA's) menu-labeling rule and ensure necessary compliance flexibility.

Trends To Target Unhealthy Foods: What Does It Mean for Truckstops

August 31, 2016

Trends To Target Unhealthy Foods: What Does It Mean for Truckstops

From menu labeling requirements to taxes on sodas, there is a push at the federal and state levels to discourage the consumption of certain types of foods. The trend is increasing the number of regulations truckstop and travel plaza operators must adhere to and could alter sales.

New Rules for E-Cigarettes, Vape Pens Take Effect August 8

August 5, 2016

New Rules for E-Cigarettes, Vape Pens Take Effect August 8

The Food and Drug Administration's "deeming regulation," imposing restrictions on e-cigarettes, vape pens, as well as cigars and pipe tobacco, contains several important restrictions on tobacco retailers that take effect August 8.

Senators Urge USDA to Revise SNAP Rule

August 2, 2016

Senators Urge USDA to Revise SNAP Rule

Nearly 50 members of the U.S. Senate urged U.S. Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack to revise the proposed rule regarding Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, including several changes that have been advocated by NATSO.

NATSO Urges Agriculture Department to Revise SNAP Rule

May 23, 2016

NATSO Urges Agriculture Department to Revise SNAP Rule

NATSO told the Department of Agriculture that its recently proposed rule regarding Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits will negatively impact travel plazas that redeem SNAP benefits, and their customers, and should be substantially revised before it is finalized.

NATSO Testifies On SNAP Before House Committee on Agriculture

May 13, 2016

NATSO Testifies On SNAP Before House Committee on Agriculture

The truckstop and travel plaza industry on May 12 testified before Congress on the important role that the industry plays in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), providing a convenient place for economically disadvantaged citizens to purchase food.

FDA to Regulate, Restrict E-Cigarettes

May 9, 2016

FDA to Regulate, Restrict E-Cigarettes

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has finalized a new regulation that would extend its regulatory authority to cover all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and vaping products, rather than only traditional combustible cigarettes.

May 9, 2016

NATSO to Testify Before House Agriculture Committee on SNAP

Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores will testify on behalf of NATSO at a Congressional hearing May 12 on the company's experience as a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) retailer, as well as the negative impact the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s new proposed SNAP rule will have on retailers that redeem SNAP benefits.

FDA Issues Final Menu-Labeling Guidance

May 2, 2016

FDA Issues Final Menu-Labeling Guidance

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released final guidance clarifying some of the ambiguities in its federal "menu-labeling" regulations. Those regulations, which were finalized in December 2014, require calorie declarations on menus and menu boards for chain restaurants and retail food establishments, including many convenience stores. The guidance, released on April 29, 2016, starts a one-year clock until FDA begins enforcing the calorie labeling requirements, meaning covered establishments will need to be in compliance by May 2017.

USDA Extends SNAP Comment Period

April 4, 2016

USDA Extends SNAP Comment Period

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on April 1 announced a 30-day extension to the comment period on its proposed rule that would make it harder for NATSO members to redeem Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamp) benefits. Comments are now due by May 18.

Under Fire from Lawmakers, USDA Begins to Walk Back SNAP Proposal

March 18, 2016

Under Fire from Lawmakers, USDA Begins to Walk Back SNAP Proposal

Members of the House Agriculture Committee last week raised concerns with the head of the Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), which implements the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as "food stamps"), over a recent proposed rule that would make it virtually impossible for most travel centers and convenience stores to redeem SNAP benefits. Many lawmakers brought up the same concerns that NATSO has expressed, and FNS officials acknowledged that the proposal has flaws and needs to be improved.

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