NACS Urges Final Lobby Ahead of Menu Labeling Vote

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Next week, federal lawmakers will cast their votes on one of the convenience channel's hot-button issues: menu labeling.

The House of Representatives is slated to vote on H.R. 2017 — the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act of 2015 — on Thursday, Feb. 11, according to NACS, the Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing. This measure is one of the association's top legislative priorities.

Last year, U.S. Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) and Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.) introduced the bipartisan legislation that recognizes there are differences between how convenience stores and chain restaurants operate.

As CSNews Online previously reported, the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee passed the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act of 2015 in a bipartisan vote of 36 to 12 in November.

The legislation would enable compliance for convenience store operators, while increasing the availability of both nutrition information and choice for consumers, according to NACS. It maintains regulations approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but modifies them in order to provide nutritional information to customers in a more practical format and to protect small businesses from overly burdensome costs and penalties.

Current FDA menu-labeling regulations are scheduled to go into effect in December.

The Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act would amend the FDA menu labeling regulations "to provide more flexibility in how covered convenience stores and other retailers would be able to comply. Importantly, the legislation also includes new provisions providing protection from frivolous lawsuits alleging non-compliance with the rule," said Jon Taets, director of government relations at NACS.

The association is urging industry members to make one final push and send a letter to their congressional representatives asking them to vote "yes" on the bill.

NACS created a draft letter that can be accessed by clicking here.

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