ARLINGTON, VA – Food Marketing Institute (FMI) President and CEO Leslie G. Sarasin issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) announcement to extend the compliance date by one year and to review FDA’s “Menu Labeling” rule:

“We appreciate FDA and the Trump administration’s thoughtful approach to taking more time to review the Food and Drug Administration’s proposed restaurant “menu labeling” rule, which allows for an opportunity to resolve some of the tremendous challenges associated with its application in a grocery store environment. The Obama Administration deemed this rule to be the third most burdensome of FY2010, with an estimate of more than 14.5 million hours necessary for compliance – an estimate now proven by the industry to be very low. 

“Led by FMI in its continued efforts to assist its member companies in providing meaningful and accurate information to its customers, the supermarket industry for several years has sought common sense regulatory flexibility, such as liability protections for good-faith compliance efforts, allowing the use of a central menu board for a salad bar, and creating a regulatory environment that preserves the opportunity for selling locally-made and locally-sourced foods. These are sensible modifications that can easily be made and that will allow grocery stores to provide information to customers in a more efficient and accurate, less costly manner. It is wholly appropriate and necessary for FDA and the Trump administration to review this rule and its corresponding burdens using the common sense and logic that has been absent in the process thus far.”

FDA is extending compliance until May 7, 2018. The agency says it is soliciting additional comments due 60 days after publication in the Federal Register to consider how to reduce the regulatory burden or increase flexibility.