ARLINGTON, VA – November 16, 2012 – The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) today reiterated its strong support for bringing “common sense” back to Washington by excluding mainstream grocery stores from “Nutrition Labeling of Standard Menu Items at Chain Restaurants,” a provision under the Affordable Care Act. FMI supports Reps. John Carter (R-TX) and Henry Cuellar (D-TX) and Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) who have  introduced legislation that would return the scope of the law to what was originally intended by Congress – which never mentioned grocery stores.

The food retail industry wishes to fulfill the law without unnecessarily capturing grocery stores, where the vast majority of foods are already labeled with nutrition information. FMI asserts:

  • Fact #1:  The menu labeling law did not direct FDA to regulate supermarkets and the agency acknowledges this. 
  • Fact #2: 95% of Food Items Sold at Grocery Stores Already Display Nutrition Labeling.  Nutrition labeling already appears on pre-packaged foods and raw meat and poultry.
  • Fact #3: Initial compliance costs of menu labeling for grocery stores will exceed $1 billion, including nutrition analysis of each item, developing corresponding menu boards and signs, store-level training, and recordkeeping. 
  • Fact #4: Office of Management and Budget has listed menu labeling as the third largest new regulatory burden of FY 2011.  OMB estimates a burden increase of 14.5 million hours and $69.8 million for recordkeeping alone.
  • Fact #5: No state or city has lumped grocery stores into restaurant menu labeling laws.