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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued its final guidance on menu-labeling regulations on April 29. The final document contains virtually no changes from the original draft guidance, which was first issued on Nov. 25, 2014, according to NACS, the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing.
"The FDA has done a disservice to convenience stores by willingly ignoring our industry's interest in providing calorie information to consumers in a way that is actually helpful," said Lyle Beckwith, senior vice president of government relations at NACS. "Rather than take into account the practicality of our industry's ability to comply with the law, the FDA has moved ahead with menu-labeling requirements designed for chain restaurants and not convenience store foodservice programs."
The FDA regulations require that chain restaurants, similar retail food establishments (including convenience and grocery stores), and vending machines with 20 or more locations that serve substantially the same items list caloric information on their menus and menu boards.
The final date for compliance is now set at May 2017, or 17 months after compliance was originally mandated.
In March, the FDA announced that the compliance deadline would be one year after the release of its final guidance, as CSNews Online previously reported.
The only remaining method of changing the current law would be congressional action, NACS said. The association supports H.R. 2017, the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act of 2015, and its companion legislation in the Senate. NACS contends this legislation would ensure consumer choice, while making it possible for c-stores to comply with the menu-labeling law.