National Grocers Association (NGA) and the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) have filed a petition asking the FDA for a stay on the Final Rule on Food Labeling. The associations asked the commissioner to hold off on the effective date, currently scheduled for May 5.
The petition requested the stay and re-evaluation because of the confusion the final rule and its guidance create and of how much compliance would cost non-restaurant retailers.
The groups point out that agency staff can’t provide clarification on such questions as the distinction between a menu (which would require calorie data) and an advertisement or marketing piece (which would not). Instead, the staff “admitted that they had not made determinations on these kinds of very basic compliance questions,” according to the groups.
The petition concluded that “clearly, serious compliance and coverage questions remain under the Final Rule, and even if FDA were to address all of them today, there would not be sufficient time for businesses to be in compliance on May 5. The impossibility of compliance for many businesses is reason enough to stay the Final Rule.”