NACS Government Relations Conference
NACS Government Relations
Support Reasonable Menu Labeling Regulations: House
The Issue: NACS needs retailers to support legislation (S. 1756/H.R. 1249) that will reduce the burdens of pending menu labeling regulations on retailers. Background: The health-care law signed by President Obama in March 2010 includes a provision that calls... [+] more
The Issue: NACS needs retailers to support legislation (S. 1756/H.R. 1249) that will reduce the burdens of pending menu labeling regulations on retailers.
Background: The health-care law signed by President Obama in March 2010 includes a provision that calls for a national, uniform nutrition-disclosure standard for foodservice establishments. Unfortunately, the menu labeling regulations proposed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2011 impose unnecessary burdens on many retailers, particularly convenience stores. Earlier this year, the FDA again announced a delay in issuing a final rule - now expected for the end of 2014. NACS is pushing for an alternative regulatory structure that lessens the burden on businesses like convenience stores, but we need Congress to send the FDA a clear message to make necessary changes to the proposed rule.
Legislative Solution: NACS supports bipartisan legislation - S. 1756 in the Senate and H.R. 1249 in the House, entitled the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act - to ensure these regulations are applied sensibly. The legislation outlines a less burdensome approach to menu labeling and includes language addressing the types of retail locations covered by federal menu-labeling requirements.
The FDA proposal would require that stores in which 50% or more of their floor space is dedicated to the sale of food would potentially be subject to the regulations. This calculation would include all pre-packaged, pre-labeled food products and is unclear on the definition of what floor space would be included. The legislation NACS supports would change this proposed definition to apply only to stores in which 50% or more of their gross revenues were derived from the sale of food intended for immediate consumption or prepared and processed onsite. Pre-packaged food would not be considered in this equation and potential confusion about floor space would be avoided.
For those convenience stores that would be covered by federal menu-labeling requirements, the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act provides more flexibility with compliance. Retailers could select from several approaches in providing calorie information. For instance, pizza sellers could provide calories per slice or for the whole pizza. The legislation would allow retailers more flexibility in providing calorie ranges as opposed to specific number, which is often more difficult to define with made-to-order food.
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The Association for Convenience and Fuel Retailing
NACS 1600 Duke Street Alexandria, VA 22314