The National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and the New York Association of Convenience Stores (NYACS) all hailed a settlement reached Friday afternoon, Aug. 25, that blocks New York City’s efforts to enforce FDA menu labeling rules before the May 7, 2018, federal compliance deadline.
Lyle Beckwith, NACS’ SVP of government affairs, said, “This settlement with New York City is a clear victory for common sense. States and cities cannot enforce menu-labeling rules until Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rules are enforced. We’re pleased that New York City has agreed not to jump the gun.
Beckwith added, “There are good reasons for everyone to wait: It is increasingly clear that the federal regulations have real problems that must be fixed before they go into effect. A recent economic study confirmed that total costs for the industry under the rule will be more than triple the FDA estimate, reaching more than $300 million per year—and seven times the estimate for convenience stores.”
Beckwith said NACS members and other businesses will need to comply with the federal and city rules once the measures properly take effect.
“NACS will continue to battle for common-sense changes to the federal regulations through the regulatory and legislative process, so that the rules ensure NACS members can provide nutrition information to their customers in a way that makes sense for everyone,” he said.
James Calvin, NYACS president, said, “We’re relieved that common sense prevailed here. The attempt to prematurely implement this rule was clearly a governmental overreach by the city of New York.”
FMI Chief Public Policy Officer Jennifer Hatcher said the settlement with the city “protects our members from fines prior to the federal compliance date and also serves as a strong deterrent for other states and localities from prematurely enforcing the federal menu labeling rule prior to the federal compliance date.”
Hatcher added that the decision is important because it demonstrates federal law preempts a municipality’s premature enforcement.
“We encourage our members that are currently attempting to comply with the menu labeling rule to continue to comply with the rule, subject to any future modifications or clarifications of the federal regulation. At the same time, we will continue our work with FDA and Congress to address the substantive implementation problems with the final rule,” said Hatcher.