Senators introduce bill for more flexible menu labeling regulations
The American Pizza Community has announced its support for bipartisan Senate legislation introduced last week by Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Angus King (I-ME).
The Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act of 2013 (S.1756) makes changes to the menu labeling requirements on restaurants for which the Food and Drug Administration is currently finalizing regulations. This Senate bill follows the introduction of a companion bipartisan bill in the House of Representatives (H.R. 1249) by Representatives Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA-5) and Loretta Sanchez (D-CA-46).
"We would like to thank Senator Blunt and Senator King for their support of adding common sense into menu labeling regulations and relief for small business. This bill is an important step in making some needed changes to FDA's burdensome proposed menu labeling regulations, adding important flexibility and reasonable solutions for small business pizza store owners nationwide," said Lynn Liddle, chair of the APC and executive vice president of Communications, Legislative Affairs and Investor Relations for Domino's Pizza.
According to a news release, the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act of 2013 would modify the existing menu-labeling statute such that:
- Pizza delivery stores and other restaurants that rely on orders that are primarily remotely placed — such as over the phone or online — could comply with the law using an online or other remote display of calorie counts. The APC said the draft FDA regulations would require an in-store menu board, which would not capture the full variety of millions of menu options, could cost up to approximately $5,000 per store, per year and might only reach 10 percent of customers.
- Multi-serving menu items could be labeled by individual serving. Pizza, for example, could be labeled by the slice rather than the whole pie.
- Variable food items, such as pizza, could use a variety of means, including ranges, averages, individual component labeling of ingredients or labeling of standard menu offerings, rather than conform to a one-size-fits-all approach.
- Restaurants would be held to a reasonable standard in labeling.
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