April 28, 2015 – WASHINGTON, DC – Food Marketing Institute (FMI) offered its support to cosponsors of the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act of 2015, a bipartisan bill reintroduced into Congress today with the goal of addressing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) misinterpretation of a chain restaurant menu labeling law that includes supermarkets.
FMI President and CEO Leslie G. Sarasin wrote to Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Loretta Sanchez (D-CA), in part, “Grocery stores want to provide customers with nutrition information and have done so for a very long time. The lack of time, guidance, and flexibility by FDA compels us to seek the legislative process to address these critical, outstanding issues to minimize the significant economic impact and customer confusion this rule has created.
“FMI supports the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act of 2015 because it helps address fundamental problems with FDA’s final menu labeling regulations, such as protecting grocery stores that do not have menus or menu boards; limiting the regulations to foods that are truly standardized at 20 or more locations; providing flexibility on the placement and display of nutritional information where customers make their purchasing decisions; and allowing adequate time for regulated stakeholders to properly implement the law.”
The legislation will reinforce issues on which FMI has continually solicited guidance from FDA:
- Allow for up to two years for compliance following publication of updated final regulations, and at least one year for compliance with FDA published guidance;
- Clarify 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;
- Provide some flexibility on the placement and display, such as font-sizing, of nutritional information where customers make their purchasing decisions; and
- Provide liability protection by allowing an establishment to take corrective actions within 90-days prior to federal, state and municipal enforcement and protects against frivolous civil actions.