Updated: Nov. 25 12:00 PM ET

FMI President and CEO Leslie G. Sarasin today released the following statement on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) decision to include supermarkets in its chain restaurant menu labeling rule:

“FDA used a five-word clause in the 3,000-page Affordable Care Act to expand chain restaurant menu labeling rules to grocery stores.

“Grocery stores already provide an abundance of nutritional information well beyond calories and have done so for decades. They should not be pulled into a menu labeling law and regulation designed for a different industry. In fact, a typical grocery store has 95 percent of food items already labeled with Nutrition Facts, disclosing much more nutritional information beyond calories, and supermarkets have been exemplified through the years as venues where consumers are informed of their nutritional choices. By contrast, a restaurant is not considered ‘similar’ to a food retailer for the myriad of other regulatory requirements imposed on food retailers, including country-of-origin, bioterrorism, and allergen labeling as well as those associated with the Food Safety Modernization Act.

“Members of Congress have repeatedly urged FDA not to expand menu labeling to mainstream grocery stores.  FMI supports the bipartisan efforts led by Reps. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers (R-WA), Jack Kingston (R-GA), and Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) and Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Angus King (I-ME) and approximately 100 co-sponsors of the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act (H.R. 1249/S. 1756) to return the menu labeling regulations to the original intent of the law.”

[1] The Food Retailing Industry Speaks (2011), FMI