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.
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.
Introduced by Representatives Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) and Tony Cardenas (D-Calif.), the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act 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.
In a letter sent to committee members July 26, truckstops, supermarkets, convenience stores and restaurant said that they have found the FDA’s rule as currently written is “difficult or impossible” to follow and costly.
The groups said that initial industry estimates put compliance with the current rule at more than $1 billion and rising due to the regulatory hurdles and fears of inconsistent enforcement.
H.R. 772 is critically needed, the groups said, to “mitigate some of the costs while ensuring a smoother implementation.”
The signatories, who agree with providing transparent nutritional information, employ 3.5 million people in grocery stores, 1.8 million people inconvenience stores, more than 1 million people in pizzerias, and hundreds of thousands of people at truckstops and travel plazas throughout the United States.
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