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WASHINGTON, D.C. — NACS, the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing, is encouraging convenience store retailers to contact their Congressional representatives and urge them to support H.R. 2017, the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act of 2015. The legislation addresses concerns with the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) final menu labeling regulations.
In November, the FDA issued its final menu labeling rule. The final version requires caloric information to be listed on menus and menuboards in chain restaurants, similar retail food establishments and vending machines with 20 or more locations to provide consumers with more nutritional information about the foods they eat outside the home.
According to NACS, the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act of 2015 clarifies that menu-labeling regulations are intended for standard menu items, defined as those items with substantially the same recipe, prepared in substantially the same way, with substantially the same food components that are routinely included on a menu or menuboard, or are routinely offered as a self-service food or food on display at 20 or more locations.
"Convenience retailers are not opposed to providing customers with the type of caloric content information the rule requires of them, but retailers should be able to do so in a way that makes sense in our industry," NACS stated. "In fact, many stores have the information available today in some form, should customers request it. H.R. 2017 provides the reasonable accommodations that will make it possible for members of our industry to comply, without creating an undue business burden."
NACS and other food retailer associations are supporting the bipartisan-sponsored Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act, which would provide guidance and clarification, and extend the effective date of menu-labeling requirements to two years after the final rules implementing the bill are issued, as CSNews Online previously reported. The current implementation deadline is Dec. 1 of this year.
The Congressional Budget Office has indicated that the Menu Labeling Rule is one of the most expensive in history, primarily due to the compliance costs required of smaller businesses, according to NACS.
Retailers can submit a letter to lawmakers online by clicking here.