Do American consumers have the right to make on-the-spot informed decisions about the food they want to buy or do the sellers of the food have the right to decide what nutrition information they share on menus?
The 2010 proposed rules would require chain restaurants with 20 or more locations, along with bakeries, grocery stores, convenience stores and coffee chains, to clearly post the calorie count for each item on their menus. Additional nutritional information would have to be available upon request. The rules would also apply to vending machines if calorie information isn’t already visible on the package.
Various institutes and coalitions of food markets, fast food chains and food industry lobbyists have debated the acceptability of this law and the FDA has fallen to the demands of the food industry, continually pushing back the compliance deadlines.
Read what Registered Dietitian, Marion Nestle has been posting on the Menu Labeling topic since 2007 here.
Enter The American Pizza Community, acoalition of pizza chains – including Domino’s, Little Caesars and Pizza Hut – one of the various groups who lobbied congress to delay and modify the law.
To put this simply, large pizza corporations have been given the upper hand in controlling calorie information in restaurants that should be available to all consumers.
Why is big food controlling food-related laws?
I agree with the suggestion that Marion Nestle makes, The ferocity of lobbying on this idea suggests that restaurant companies would rather you did not have this information.
Companies are likely worried about their bottom line.
Health care professionals are worried about public health.
When laws are passed and delayed for the benefit of the food industry it sends a strong message to the public. Is the government is inadequately responding to the health problems our population faces because corporate profit is more important?
I don’t think that labelling calories of food items will solve the health crisis we’re facing but … I do think that labelling calories can help consumers make better decisions about their food based on increased knowledge for the times that they do choose to eat out.
Past FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg has said “Americans eat and drink about one-third of their calories away from home and people today expect clear information about the products they consume … Making calorie information available on chain restaurant menus and vending machines is an important step for public health that will help consumers make informed choices for themselves and their families.”
If the government has decided that menu labelling laws will help improve the health of then we should do it.
The menu labelling law was passed and signed by POTUS over six, SIX, years ago. [Title IV: Section 4205]
Calorie labelling has been successfully implemented as a mandatory menu requirement in New York City since 2008.