The National Restaurant Association (NRA) has endorsed the Food and Drug Administration's scheduled release of the final menu labeling regulations while the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) has criticized the FDA’s decision to include supermarkets in its chain restaurant menu labeling rule.
NRA President and CEO Dawn Sweeney issued the following statement about the Food and Drug Administration's scheduled release of the final menu labeling regulations:
"The National Restaurant Association strongly believes in the importance of providing nutrition information to consumers to empower them to make the best choices for their dietary needs.
"Under the federal menu labeling regulations which the Association sought and supported, nutrition information will soon be available in more than 200,000 restaurant locations nationwide.
"We joined forces with more than 70 public health and stakeholder groups to advocate for a federal nutrition standard so that anyone dining out can have clear, easy-to-use nutrition information at the point of ordering – information that is presented in the same way, no matter what part of the country. From Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine, diners in restaurants will have a new tool to help them make choices that are right for them.
FMI President and CEO Leslie G. Sarasin released a statement on the FDA decision to include supermarkets in its chain restaurant menu labeling rule. “Grocery stores already provide an abundance of nutritional information well beyond calories and have done so for decades,” Sarasin said. “They should not be pulled into a menu labeling law and regulation designed for a different industry.”
Editors Insight: The food industry has a full year to comply with the new menu label rules, which are intended to provide consumers nutrition information.
Nobody wants to have to meet additional regulations, but neither the government nor industry can ignore the need for nutrition disclosure, given rising obesity rates and the cost this problem will bring to bear on public health, including the health of future employees. The food industry has worked with the federal government on uniform standards.
The nutrition disclosure rules are not the only labeling regulations the food industry has to meet. Exporters to Europe have to comply with the European Union allergen rule. Produce shippers have to meet the Produce Traceability Initiative.
Fortunately, menu labeling software allows food companies to comply with government regulations, along with printing labels for other functions, such as shipping, receiving and inventory management. 12-01-14 By Elliot Maras