The government has finally announced the rules — originally drafted in 2010 — that will require chain restaurants, supermarkets, convenience stores, theaters, amusement parks, and vending machines to post the calorie content of food “clearly and conspicuously” on their menus.
While the food and beverage industries deliver plenty of lip service about “being part of the solution” and “working with policymakers,” their response to this development demonstrates otherwise.
Menu labeling is one public health policy industry hated from day one, all the while repeating the “education! education!” record on repeat (apparently, industry only likes education when it can be manipulated to absolve them of criticism).
Highlights from the Associated Press’ coverage:
- “The rules deal a blow to the grocery and convenience store industries, which have lobbied hard to be completely exempted since the menu labels became law in 2010 as a part of health overhaul.”
- “The pizza industry, led by delivery giant Domino’s, has also vigorously fought the rules, saying there are millions of ingredient combinations possible. The FDA attempted to mollify some of their concerns by allowing pizza restaurants to label pizza calories by the slice, as they had requested, but would still force the labeling on menu boards in take-out restaurants.”
Included in the pizza industry: Pizza Hut. Its connection to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics? Its parent company, Yum! Foods, lists AND as one of its partners (apparently to demonstrate how they practice Corporate Social Responsibility).
As you may have guessed, the Grocery Manufacturers Association and Food Marketing Institute (organizations to which all AND sponsors belong to) are not happy.
PS: Marion Nestle also has great coverage of this news in her Food Politics blog.