Topics: Food & Tobacco

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. More

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. More

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. More

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. More

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. More

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. More

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. More

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." More

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. More

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. More

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