Congressmen Introduce Bill to Stop Expansion of Food Labeling Mandate

By:  Michael Tennant
03/27/2013
       
Congressmen Introduce Bill to Stop Expansion of Food Labeling Mandate

A bipartisan group of congressmen introduced legislation to prevent the Food and Drug Administration from expanding ObamaCare's mandate for nutrition labeling.

With the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) set to issue regulations requiring restaurants, supermarkets, and convenience stores to post nutritional information about the prepared foods they sell, a bipartisan group of congressmen has introduced legislation aimed at easing the burden on smaller retailers and take-out food sellers.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as ObamaCare, requires restaurants with more than 20 locations to provide nutritional information about their wares. Although the provision was originally intended to apply only to large restaurant chains, the FDA decided to apply it to supermarkets, convenience stores, and pizza parlors as well.

In so doing, the agency placed an enormous burden on those businesses, as The New American reported in February:

Store owners would be mandated to label prepared foods, unpackaged foods found in salad bars and food bars, as well as soups and bakery items.

Erik Lieberman, regulatory counsel at the Food Marketing Institute, asserts that in order for store owners to comply, they would have to test foods with either expensive software or expensive off-site laboratory assessments. Regardless of which method, it would result in increased food costs for consumers.

“This is a huge burden. Before we sell an item — like this apple pie — we have to send it to a laboratory for analysis, we have to compile eight different records on the item, we have to put that sign up there which says 300 calories,” Lieberman told Fox News’ Shannon Bream last month….

According to Lieberman, the cost of the regulation is estimated to be around $1 billion in the first year alone.

And that’s just for grocery stores. Establishments that sell pizzas, subs, and other custom-prepared foods would also be forced to post menu boards detailing the calorie counts of the various combinations of ingredients customers may select even though many of their customers, who have the foods delivered to them, might not even see the boards. Vending machines, too, must show calorie counts even though their selections change frequently.

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