Oct. 21, 2008
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A new coalition has announced that it will support federal legislation that provides consumers with detailed nutrition information in writing in chain restaurants and other foodservice establishments using a uniform national standard. Legislation has been introduced by Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah), which provides consumers across the country with nutrition information in a uniform, predictable way.
The Coalition for Responsible Nutrition Information was formed to ensure that consumers across the country will have access to detailed nutrition information when they dine out, thr group's founders said. The coalition is launching with more than 30 companies and associations that represent restaurant owners and franchisees, food manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, business organizations and health organizations.
"We believe consumers who visit chain restaurants should have access to detailed written nutrition information in a consistent and convenient manner. The only way to make sure this happens is by creating a uniform, national standard," said Dawn Sweeney, president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association. "When different rules exist in various parts of the country, it makes it difficult for consumers to compare options. Consumers deserve a federal standard that provides access to the same nutrition information no matter where they are or where they live."
According to a recent national poll conducted by Peter D. Hart Research Associates, 79 percent of registered voters favor a law that would require restaurants to provide detailed nutrition information in writing.
Increasingly, restaurants are offering detailed information in formats including brochures, posters, in-store computer kiosks and Web sites. Recently, several cities, including New York and Seattle, passed menu labeling laws requiring restaurants to provide consumers with calories or a limited range of nutrition information.
In addition to numerous state restaurant associations and state retail associations, Coalition members include Auntie Anne's Pretzels, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, Brinker International, Burger King, Carlson Restaurants Worldwide, Darden Restaurants, Domino's Pizza, Dunkin' Brands, Grocery Manufacturers Association, International Dairy Queen, International Foodservice Distributors Association, International Franchise Association, McDonald's, National Chicken Council, National Council of Chain Restaurants, National Fisheries Institute, National Franchisee Association, National Restaurant Association, National Turkey Foundation, OSI Restaurants LLC., Sonic, and White Castle.