NTU urges all Representatives to vote “YES” on H.R. 2017, the “Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act.” This legislation would provide relief for food retailers from the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) burdensome menu-labeling rule.
Required under the President’s health care law, the FDA’s menu-labeling rule established a rigid 400 page, one-size-fits-all, nutritional disclosure requirement for grocery stores, restaurants, and other retail food establishments. This rule demands that these locations install at least one standard menu board displaying the price and calorie count of each individual item; for a single company that has hundreds of locations and a diverse selection of items, this regulation would cost well over $1 million.
The FDA’s rule goes far beyond the underlying statute, and applies to chains, delivery services, or any franchise retailer selling non-packaged foods such as hot meals or a salad bar at a supermarket – even convenience stores. Many small-business franchises, who own one or two stores and operate independently from the corporate parent, will still be subject to this cumbersome, expensive regulatory scheme. Violations, which would be almost impossible to avoid given the broad range of menu options and customer preferences, could even be met with criminal penalties!
The new menu-labeling rule discourages growth and entrepreneurship in the food industry and will hurt customers through increased food prices and decreased selection. In response, H.R. 2017, a bipartisan initiative, would provide real relief for tens of thousands of grocery stores and restaurants, as well as consumers, by implementing commonsense reforms, including increased flexibility and clarity for small businesses.
Roll call votes on H.R. 2017 will be included in our annual Rating of Congress and a “YES” vote will be considered the pro-taxpayer position.
If you have any questions, please contact NTU Federal Affairs Manager Nan Swift at (703) 683-5700