Sending Office: Honorable Rosa L. DeLauro
BUSTING THE MYTHS OF MENU LABELING
OPPOSE H.R. 772
Now set to go into effect on May 7, 2018, the Menu Labeling Rule provides consumers with nutritional information on the foods they purchase. With rates of obesity and diabetes at crisis levels across the country, this crucial information would give Americans
the tools they need to make healthy choices.
However, for years special interest groups have lobbied against the Menu Labeling Rule. Their efforts have resulted in H.R. 772, a bill based on nothing more than misleading myths.
MYTH #1: Small businesses are negatively impacted.
Small businesses are unilaterally exempt from menu labeling requirements. The rule only applies to “covered establishments,” meaning those that have 20 or more locations. The rule does not, and never was intended, to apply to small businesses.
MYTH #2: Labeling requirements are burdensome and difficult to comply with.
In reality, nutritional labeling requirements are straightforward and easy to implement, which is why numerous food retailers are already labeling calories on their menus. Furthermore, FDA has sought eight years of industry input which has resulted in the most
flexible disclosure requirements to date. Nutritional information for complex menu items can be disclosed in ranges, without the need to estimate exact calories for various combinations.
MYTH #3: Labeling requirements only create consumer confusion.
The Menu Labeling Rule actually reduces consumer confusion by providing nutritional information at the point of purchase, and ensures that portion sizes are listed realistically. The rule will allow for a standard nutritional information format which will facilitate
consumer understanding. Without it, consumers will be subject to deceptive portion sizes which can lead to them making misinformed decisions based on misleading information.
MYTH #4: Enforcements and penalties for noncompliance are harsh and unreasonable.
Menu labeling will be subject to the exact same mechanisms and penalties as those for packaged food. FDA has maintained its commitment to compliance outreach and education, and has waived enforcement for the first year. Additionally, numerous state and local
governments have menu labeling requirements, and not one chain restaurant has faced a lawsuit.
MYTH #5: Menu Labeling Requirements are unpopular among American consumers.
Consumers have unequivocally maintained their support for menu labeling, with a recent poll showing support as high as 80 percent among Democrats, Republicans and Independents. Moreover, more than
100 public health organizations and health professionals have voiced their opposition to H.R. 772 because it would “undermine congressional intent to provide
access to calorie labeling in a broad range of chain food service establishments.”
Despite years of progress, Congressional Republicans have yet again bowed to special interest and created a carve-out for big food corporations who do not have the best interests of Americans at heart. Overwhelmingly, consumers want to know the nutritional
information of the foods they are eating. Please oppose H.R. 772 – as well as any efforts that seek to undermine consumers.
ROSA L. DeLAURO
Member of Congress
e-Dear Colleague version 2.0