'Common Sense' Menu Labeling Legislation Reaches Senate

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'Common Sense' Menu Labeling Legislation Reaches Senate


WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act was introduced in the U.S. Senate yesterday as a way to codify a less burdensome approach to menu labeling. It includes language addressing retailers that are covered by federal menu-labeling requirements, including convenience stores.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which was signed into law in 2010, included a provision that called for a national, uniform nutrition-disclosure standard for foodservice establishments. However, several retail groups, including NACS, the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing, argued the provision would create rigid requirements that pose an unreasonable burden on many businesses.

NACS lauded the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act, bipartisan legislation introduced by Sens. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Angus King (I-Maine). Specifically, the legislation limits the Affordable Care Act's menu-labeling provision to establishments that derive 50 percent or more revenue from food that is intended for immediate consumption and prepared and processed on-site. Prepackaged food would not be part of this equation.

According to NACS' 2012 State of the Industry Report, 17 percent of convenience stores' in-store revenues are derived from prepackaged food. Hence, most convenience stores would be exempt.

"This legislation will allow the Food and Drug Administration to satisfy Congress' objectives without unnecessarily burdening most convenience stores," said NACS Senior Vice President of Government Relations Lyle Beckwith. "It treats restaurants like restaurants and convenience stores like convenience stores."

As CSNews Online previously reported, NACS similarly lauded the new menu labeling restrictions last year when they were first introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives.

It is uncertain when the Senate will vote on the proposed legislation.