Menu Labeling Legislation Reports out of House Committee
(November 19, 2015) A modified version of the Menu Labeling Legislation, H.R. 2017, the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act of 2015, reported out of the House Energy and Commerce Committee yesterday. The bipartisan legislation, sponsored by Reps. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers (R-WA) and Loretta Sanchez (D-CA), reported out of committee by a vote of 32 to 12. The modified version of the bill would apply FDA menu labeling regulations only to foods that are standardized across 20 or more locations, allow for use of a menu board in a prepared foods area instead of individually labeling each item, and address other regulatory issues related to the FDA’s final rule. OGA thanks all members who reached out their respective members of Congress to support H.R. 2017, as both Ohio Congressmen on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. Bob Latta and Rep. Bill Johnson, voted to favorably to report the bill. We hope for a full House vote before the end of the year. As a reminder, the Senate version, S. 2217, was just recently introduced in the Senate and is still pending consideration. Courtesy of NGA, We encourage members to take a few minutes and urge your Congressional legislators to co-sponsor S.2217 and H.R. 2017.
FDA Releases Menu Labeling Guidance
(September 17, 2015) After months of speculation, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released their draft menu labeling guidance last Friday. In addition, FDA also released a statement on the guidance – see attached. OGA has been working with our national partners since the final menu labeling rule was published in December 2014, looking for further clarity on many unanswered questions resulting from the final rule. Based on initial review of the guidance report, there still remain several question marks on a number of different issues. However, FDA did provide some clarity as it relates to two particular areas: 1) cold prepared foods that are typically sold behind the counter would not be subject to the nutrition labeling requirements and 2) the “grab and go” food’s existing caloric labeling information on the package would be acceptable under the rule as is. We would like to thank FMI, NGA, and NACS for their continual advocacy on this issue and we will continue to monitor the menu labeling issue as legislation, HR 2017, is still pending in Congress.
Menu Labeling Hearing Being Held TODAY!
(June 4, 2015) This morning, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health held a hearing on H.R. 2017, the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act which seeks to provide reasonable guidelines and clarity on the chain restaurant menu labeling regulation. Several witnesses were expected to testimony in support of the bill, including representatives and members from NGA and NACS. It is important to highlight the fact this is critical first step to continuing to build up momentum for the bill and garner additional co-sponsors. We ask you take a few moments and contact your US House Member and urge them to support and cosponsor H.R. 2017!
32 Senators Urge FDA to Fix Problems on Menu Labeling Rule
(May 21, 2015) More positive news regarding the Menu Labeling Rule as 32 Senators organized a bi-partisan letter urging FDA to provide clarity to businesses before enforcing or requiring implementation of the chain restaurant menu labeling rule that goes into effect on December 1, 2015. OGA is encouraged Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) was one of the 32 Senators to sign onto the letter. This follows Senator’s Blunt bipartisan letter sent last week to the new HHS Secretary, Sylvia Burwell. For the full release and letter please see the following link.
Senate Leaders Send Letter to HHS Secretary on Menu Labeling Guidance
(May 14, 2015) Yesterday, Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) lead a bipartisan letter delivered to Health and Human Services Secretary Burwell urging a delay of the menu labeling rule and for more clarity for the grocery industry. It has been more than 6 months since FDA published their final rule on Menu Labeling, but FDA has yet to publish the critical guidance on implementation of the rule and various industry questions that have gone unnoticed. Senator Blunt, who has been a champion of our industry on this issue, sent a bipartisan letter with Senators Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Susan Collins (R-ME), and Angus King (I-ME) to the new HHS Secretary, Sylvia Burwell asking for clarity and additional time. Please see the attachment for a copy of the letter that was sent: Letter To Secretary Burwell Re FDA Final Rules on Menu Labeling. This is a critical issue for industry and we continue to urge members to push their member of Congress to support and cosponsor H.R. 2017, which will codify a less burdensome approach to the menu labeling regulations. Contact your US House Member TODAY and urge them to cosponsor H.R. 2017!
New Menu Labeling Legislation Introduced in Congress
(April 30, 2015) On Tuesday, FMI and NGA, along with other industry stakeholders, joined Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Loretta Sanchez (D-CA), Renee Ellmers (R-NC), and Steve Womack (R-AR), at a press event to publicly introduce the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act of 2015 (H.R. 2017) designed to address the problems with FDA’s final menu labeling regulations that are scheduled to take effect on December 1, 2015. H.R. 2017 was formally introduced last Thursday in Congress and provides common sense fixes to stores (20 or more locations operating under the same banner and offering for sale similar menu items) that are subject to the FDA Chain Restaurant Menu Labeling Law. OGA is urging members to contact your House members to support H.R. 2017 as well seeking support to urge FDA to delay the menu labeling regulations beyond the effective date and for overall better guidance for compliance and enforcement procedures. During our recent Day in Washington trip to DC, we had good, productive meetings with members of Congress, specifically with regards to a delay of the regulations and we are hopeful we will see real movement on this issue. Take action here!
FDA Submits Final Rules on Menu Labeling
(April 10, 2014) On April 4, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has forwarded final rules on menu labeling to the White House Office Management and Budget after three years. The regulations, which were required under the Affordable Care Act, mandate that chain restaurants with more than 20 locations and vending machines display calorie counts on menu items. The initial draft of the rules unfairly incorporated grocery stores in the definition and we have been pushing hard for Congress to pass H.R. 1249 and S. 1756 which would define a regulated facility as one in which more than 50% of its revenues were derived from restaurant type food. The agency has yet to clarify what changes, if any, have been made to the final rules; however FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg did inform Congress that she’s tried balance the consumer’s need for information with a restaurants’ need to do business. Now that the White House has the final version, the 90-day review process before implementation begins.