The National Restaurant Association said it opposes legislation reintroduced March 19 into the 113th Congress that would exempt grocery chains, convenience stores and other similar operations from providing uniform nutrition information to consumers under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
In a letter sent to Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Washington, and Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif., who reintroduced the bill, the NRA and several restaurant companies maintained that all businesses selling restaurant-type food should be required to provide the same nutrition information that restaurants will be required to provide under a provision of the 2010 health care law.
“This legislation would broadly exempt chain grocery, convenience stores and other entities that sell restaurant food from providing uniform nutrition information to customers despite that fact that each day thousands of customers purchase meals at these establishments,” said Scott DeFife, the NRA’s executive vice president of policy and government affairs. “These companies each made strategic decisions to compete directly with their local restaurant community, in this regard, and need to play by the same rules as those with whom they choose to compete.”
The Food and Drug Administration is currently working to issue final menu-labeling rules governing how restaurants will provide nutrition information to consumers. The rules will affect companies with 20 or more locations operating under the same brand name.
“We understand that proposed rules have brought on some questions, and we look forward to working with Congress should these issues remain unresolved through the regulatory process,” DeFife said. “However, we strongly believe this legislative proposal is not the right way to address these concerns.”
DeFife added, “The National Restaurant Association believes a uniform, national nutrition standard, rather than a patchwork of state and local requirements, is in the best interest of our members and consumers.”