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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The National Restaurant Association (NRA) opposes new legislation that would exempt convenience stores, supermarkets and certain other retailers from having to provide specific nutritional information, such as calorie counts on menus, menu boards and drive-thru boards.
The proposed legislation, introduced last week by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), would measure the percentage of a business' revenue that is generated by on-site prepared foodservice, rather than the percentage of floor space devoted to food, in order to determine whether it must provide such information.
"This legislation would broadly exempt chain grocery, convenience stores and other entities that sell restaurant food from providing uniform nutrition information to customers, despite that fact that each day thousands of customers purchase meals at these establishments," stated Scott DeFife, executive vice president of policy and government affairs for the NRA. "These companies each made strategic decisions to compete directly with their local restaurant community, in this regard, and need to play by the same rules as those with whom they choose to compete."
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first proposed regulations regarding menu labeling in 2011, but implementation has been delayed by lobbying efforts. Earlier this month, FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg called the issue "extremely thorny." Organizations such as NACS, the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing, oppose implementation of the FDA's rule as it stands.
The NRA is willing to work with the FDA if these issues remain unresolved through the regulatory process, but believes the new legislation is not the right way to address concerns, according to DeFife.
"The National Restaurant Association believes a uniform, national nutrition standard, rather than a patchwork of state and local requirements, is in the best interest of our members and consumers," DeFife stated.