Restaurant, retail calorie disclosure
rule in flux under Trump
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[May 03, 2017]
By Lisa Baertlein
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A much-delayed U.S.
rule requiring restaurants and retailers to clearly display food calorie
counts has been pushed back again, and could be rewritten or scrapped as
the Trump administration rebuffs Obama-era regulations.
Notice came shortly after the U.S. Department of Agriculture relaxed
some school lunch rules that were part of former first lady Michelle
Obama's signature effort to fight childhood obesity.
The Food and Drug Administration late on Monday extended the compliance
date for the calorie labeling rule from May 5, 2017, to May 7, 2018, to
enable further consideration of ways to cut costs and make requirements
The rule was designed to help U.S. consumers, who eat and drink about
one-third of their calories away from home, battle the bulge. It is part
of the Affordable Care Act of 2010, also known as Obamacare, which the
Trump administration has vowed to repeal and replace in a bid to slash
regulations it considers harmful to business.
Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, who oversees the FDA,
said in a statement his agency believed in promoting sound nutrition and
applauded the delay.
"Imposing burdensome rules that leave business managers and owners
worried about harsh potential penalties and less able to serve their
customers is unwise and unhelpful," Price said.
The rule's opponents, including Domino's Pizza Inc, movie theater
operators, and convenience and grocery stores, have pushed for delays
over the years.
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But even if the calorie disclosure rule is killed at the federal
level, it is unlikely to go away.
Chains like Panera Bread Co and McDonald's Corp, have been
displaying such information for years in compliance with rules set
by California, New York City and other jurisdictions.
Panera in 2010 became the first national chain to post calorie
counts for its salads, sandwiches and pastries.
Sara Burnett, Panera's director of food policy and wellness, said
customers want to know what is in the food they eat, so the chain
will continue to comply with the federal law as it was written.
"It's information that helps our guests make informed decisions,"
(Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles; Editing by Richard
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