February 2, 2017--ARLINGTON, VA—Food Marketing Institute (FMI) renewed the supermarket industry’s support for the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act (H.R. 772/S. 261). This bipartisan legislation introduced today addresses persistent problems with the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) menu labeling final rule. FMI urges support of this legislation to allow these changes to be enacted and implemented prior to FDA’s upcoming compliance date, scheduled to be on May 5, 2017.

FMI President and CEO Leslie G. Sarasin stated:

“We applaud Representatives Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Tony Cárdenas (D-CA), Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Angus King (I-ME), and their bipartisan co-sponsors for their continued commitment to addressing the problems supermarkets have been facing with a “square-peg-in-a-round-hole” approach to FDA’s application of menu labeling in grocery stores. The Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act (H.R. 772/S. 261) is exactly what its title indicates: a sensible approach to providing nutrition transparency to customers while providing flexibility for supermarkets to successfully implement the requirements of the regulation. We commit our support to enacting this critical legislation as soon as possible and for actions to be taken so these modifications can be implemented prior to FDA's moving forward with compliance enforcement.”

Key provisions of the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act:

  • Protects local food items only sold at a few stores
  • Allows the use of a menu or menu board in a prepared foods area
  • Ensures advertisements, signs and other marketing materials are not regulated as “menus”
  • Allows use of a website or app as a means for compliance for ordered items, such as pre-ordered sandwiches, catering or delivery. 
  • Secures enforcement and liability protections for good-faith compliance efforts and inadvertent human errors

FMI seeks passage of this legislation because despite the supermarket industry’s numerous meetings, conference calls, and conversations with the agency at all levels over the last six years, FDA did not fix these problems in its final rule or its guidance, which has ultimately led to complications, confusion, and delays. The text of the legislation being introduced today mirrors that passed with broad bipartisan support in the previous congress by the House of Representatives. FMI is very grateful to Representatives McMorris Rodgers and Cardenas, and Senators Blunt and King for their leadership.