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WASHINGTON, D.C. — NACS, the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing, and the National Grocers Association (NGA) have filed a petition with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to delay the effective date of its menu-labeling rule.
Dated April 5, the petition comes a month before the enforcement date of May 5.
According to NACS, the menu-labeling rule, which covers chains that have 20 or more locations that sell restaurant-type food that is similar and prepared "substantially the same way" at each location, is not clear enough, reported the Food Institute.
"The petition requested the stay and re-evaluation because of the confusion the final rule and its guidance create and of how much compliance would cost non-restaurant retailers," NACS wrote in a release statement. "NACS and NGA pointed out in their petition that agency staff can't provide clarification on such questions as the distinction between a menu (which would require calorie data) and an advertisement or marketing piece (which would not). Instead, the staff 'admitted that they had not made determinations on these kinds of very basic compliance questions.'"
The Center for Science in the Public Interest spoke out against the petition, pointing out other retailers that sell similar prepared food items to convenience stores and label those products, such as Au Bon Pain, Panera and Publix supermarkets.
The petition also calls for the FDA to reconsider the section 4205 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
The FDA has not yet responded to the petition.