FDA Confirms Congress Must Act to Fix Menu-Labeling

NACS says revised draft of menu-labeling guidance does little to address “one size fits none” rule.
November 09, 2017

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Lyle Beckwith, senior vice president, government relations at NACS, today released the following statement in response to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) issuance of revised draft menu labeling guidelines:
“The failure of FDA’s latest menu-labeling ‘guidance’ to address the concerns of NACS and others has made clear that Congress must step in to fix its one-size-fits-none mess."
The guidelines do nothing to pull down the barriers to compliance that have retailers facing extraordinary costs, uncertain enforcement and frivolous lawsuits. The FDA admitted during a conference call with stakeholders that only Congress can now address the private causes of action that may follow its regulation. 
Other areas where the guidance fell short of answering retailer questions include:

  • Self-serve items requiring multiple menus
  • Impractical salad or hot food bar disclosures
  • When marketing materials constitute ‘menus’
  • Electronic disclosure for delivery restaurants
  • Multi-person or family style menu items
  • Natural variation in calorie counts
  • Which businesses are actually subject to the regulations
“In short, our conclusion in the wake of FDA’s effort at ‘guidance’ is the same as before: compliance with these rules will be unduly burdensome for all our members.  We would urge Congress to take up the FDA’s invitation to advance the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act of 2017, bipartisan legislation designed to give small businesses the flexibility they need to comply with the menu labeling rules and meet the goal we all share: providing consumers clear and useful nutrition information."