ARLINGTON, VA – November 21, 2013 –Food Marketing Institute (FMI) supports legislation (S.1756) introduced today by Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Angus King (I-ME) that directs the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to adopt a common sense approach to implementing restaurant menu labeling. FDA’s current, proposed regulations go beyond the scope of the law (Sec. 4205 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act), as well as all preceding state and municipal menu labeling laws, by capturing mainstream grocery stores, where 95 percent of the food products are already labeled.
Senate bill 1756 is a companion to H.R. 1249, the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act, introduced by Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) and co-sponsored by an additional 49 Republican and Democratic co-sponsors.
FMI Senior Vice President of Government and Public Affairs Jennifer Hatcher commented:
“We are encouraged by the bipartisan, bicameral support for FDA to follow a more practical approach to menu labeling. The Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act is consistent with an alternative proposal by FDA, as well as state and municipal menu labeling laws, to limit menu labeling to establishments that are primarily restaurants. By definition, and by almost all preceding food laws, grocery stores are not restaurants.
“Supermarkets are constantly seeking the most effective ways to address consumers’ nutritional needs. The vast majority of foods in supermarkets are already labeled with complete Nutrition Facts information and many stores are voluntarily adopting more user-friendly guidance on the front of food packages, shelf-tags, and increasing the role of in-store dietitians. Plus, grocery stores comply with country of origin labeling; allergen labeling; and ingredient labeling.
“FDA’s current, proposed menu labeling rule imposes a billion-dollar burden on supermarkets, with no additional, quantifiable benefit to supermarket customers, according to FDA’s analysis.1
“Our industry is rooted in customer service and value, so we commend Senators Blunt and King, as well as Representatives McMorris Rodgers, Sanchez and 49 other Members of Congress, for supporting legislation that maintains the integrity of federal menu labeling while preserving supermarkets’ ability to serve their customers.”
1 http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/UCM249276.pdf; Page 13.
View a one page summary of the bill here.