Bipartisan push to stop FDA on ObamaCare menu mandate
posted at 3:37 pm on February 18, 2014 by Ed Morrissey
It’s about time, too. One of the mandates in the ObamaCare bill was a requirement for food chains of 20 or more locations to post all nutritional data on every menu item. That’s a nightmare for pizzerias and other custom-food outlets, and finally Congress appears ready to act to stop the FDA from implementing the worst of it:
Pizza places and grocery stores in particular have complained about the draft standards, saying they would be all but impossible to maintain. For instance, there are 34 million different combinations of pizza toppings, according to an industry trade group. It’s impractical to require that they list calorie counts for all of the options, they say.
The lawmakers, led by Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) and Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.), are pushing legislation that would limit the scope of the menu rule to businesses where food service is the primary source of revenue, allow delivery restaurants to post their nutritional information online and allow firms to choose between multiple approaches for labeling made-to-order items.
The bill, which also would limit penalties for labeling mistakes, has attracted more than 50 co-sponsors, and there is companion legislation in the Senate.
“Yet, to date there is little evidence to suggest that the FDA has considered these alternatives,” the lawmakers wrote to Hamburg. “Instead, it appears that the FDA has withdrawn from interacting with affected industries and instead proceeded on a path that will unnecessarily burden many small businesses across the country.”
I’ve written a few times about the nonsensical nature of this regulation as written in the ObamaCare statute, including the fact that calorie counts on menus don’t actually change behaviors anyway. Here’s an original video I produced about the potential impact on a local pizza chain, Davanni’s, almost four years ago:
My earlier posts:
- FDA: Calorie-count mandate of ObamaCare “extremely thorny”
- Video: Calorie counts on menus don’t change behavior
- Exclusive: The new federal menu mandate meets the real world
- Another ObamaCare mandate we had to discover after its passage