Many in Food Industry Hope “The Common Sense Nutrition Act” Will Supplant Obama Era Menu Labeling Rules




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Many in Food Industry Hope “The Common Sense Nutrition Act” Will Supplant Obama Era Menu Labeling Rules

Published on April 30, 2017 by FoodIndustry.Com Editorial Staff  | editorial@foodindustry.com

FDA enforcement of the menu labeling rule was expected to begin on May 5, 2017, but now it is likely that another FDA menu labeling enforcement delay will be granted. On Thursday, the FDA submitted an interim final rule to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) seeking another delay. This will allow for more time for Congress or the Administration to make legislative and/or regulatory changes to the requirements which many companies believe to be onerous.

Many industry associations are urging Congress to act on the “Common Sense Nutrition Act” as quickly as possible. In February, the “Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act” (H.R. 772) was reintroduced by Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Tony Cardenas (D-CA) and Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Angus King (I-ME) reintroduced companion legislation in the Senate, (S. 261). The legislation would give food retailers the flexibility they need to comply with the labeling requirements.

The legislation would modify the menu-labeling regulation by permitting retailers to identify a single primary menu while not having to include nutrition labeling in other areas of the store. Furthermore, the bill clarifies that advertisements and posters do not need to be labeled and provides flexibility in disclosing the caloric content for variable menu items that come in different flavors or varieties, and for combination meals. Lastly, the bill ensures that retailers acting in good faith are not penalized for inadvertent errors in complying with the rule and stipulates that individual store locations are not required to have an employee “certify” that the establishment has taken reasonable steps to comply with the requirements.

The Common Sense Nutrition Act, should it become law, will affect retail food establishments like convenience stores, supermarkets, grocery stores, and pizza restaurants.

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