Home » Menu Labeling Amendments Move Closer To House Enactment

Menu Labeling Amendments Move Closer To House Enactment

Last updated on June 13th, 2024 at 05:12 pm

On Nov. 18, menu labeling legislation supported by the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) and the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) moved closer to reaching the House of Representatives for a vote.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee passed the legislation by a bipartisan vote of 36 to 12 that would enable compliance for convenience store operators while increasing the availability of both nutrition information and choice for consumers.

The Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act modifies FDA’s menu labeling regulations by:

• Clarifying that the menu labeling law is intended for “standard menu items,” defined as those items prepared with uniformity and routinely included on a menu or menu board at 20 or more locations; not a food item that is sold at one or two stores.

• Allowing for supermarkets to use a menu or menu board in a prepared foods area or next to a salad bar instead of individually labeling every item.

• Allowing an establishment to take corrective actions within 90 days prior to federal, state or municipal enforcement and protecting against frivolous class actions and does not modify or weaken FDA and state officials current enforcement authority.

• Providing flexibility within “reasonable basis” standards, in-store certifications, remote ordering, multi-serving and variable items.

“We thank committee members and their leadership for advancing legislation that truly meets the objectives of the menu-labeling law without burdening convenience store owners and adding costs to their operations,” said Lyle Beckwith, NACS’ SVP of government relations.

During the committee markup, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers said the FDA’s current menu-labeling regulations are “fundamentally impractical and unnecessarily expensive” and don’t recognize the various foodservice business models, such as convenience stores.

FMI President Leslie Sarasin said, “This legislation is not about being ‘for’ or ‘against’ the inclusion of nutrition information on menus. If ‘menu labeling’ is going to be required at grocery stores, then let’s at least build some flexibility so it is worthwhile for consumers and workable in store environments. From our several meetings with FDA over the past year, we know these legislative modifications are needed to make this regulatory scheme work and more effectively integrate menu labeling into our operations. The earlier these changes are adopted, the quicker our food retailer and wholesaler members can move past complying with regulatory schemes and get back to focusing on customers’ needs.”

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Shelby Team

The Shelby Report delivers complete grocery news and supermarket insights nationwide through the distribution of five monthly regional print and digital editions. Serving the retail food trade since 1967, The Shelby Report is “Region Wise. Nationwide.”

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