The U.S. House of Representatives voted 266 to 144 on Feb. 12 in favor of H.R. 2017, the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act.
Some 233 Republicans and 33 Deomcrats voted in favor of the bipartisan bill, which would provide food retailers greater flexibility as they seek to comply with the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) menu-labeling regulations.
The bill now goes to the Senate.
Thank you to all NATSO members who contacted your Representatives encouraging them to vote for this important legislation.
Introduced by Representatives Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) and Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.), H.R. 2017 would require FDA to revise its current menu-labeling rules, which are set to take effect Dec. 1, 2016, 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 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 similar retail food establishment with 20 or more locations to display calorie counts on menus and menu boards for all prepared and packaged food items for sale.
H.R. 2017 would not repeal the menu-labeling rules or provide an exemption. It would simply make it easier for NATSO members to comply while in no way compromising customers' access to nutrition information. It is a bipartisan bill and represents middle ground in an otherwise contentious issue.
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