This lawsuit resulted in FDA agreeing to implement without further delay the menu labeling requirements for chain restaurants mandated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

In June 2017, CSPI and National Consumers League (NCL) brought a lawsuit challenging the FDA’s delay in implementing the menu labeling requirements provided by the ACA.

ACA's Menu Labeling Requirements

In 2010, as part of the ACA, Congress required certain chain restaurants to post calorie counts on menus and disclose other nutrition information for prepared food and beverages. These menu labeling requirements allow consumers to make informed and healthy choices and encourage restaurants to provide healthful menu items and smaller portion sizes.

In 2014, FDA issued a rule implementing the menu labeling requirements but, one day before industry was due to comply in May 2017, the Trump administration’s FDA delayed the compliance deadline for an additional year.

The Lawsuit

Our lawsuit asserted that the last minute delay of the menu labeling requirements—published without prior notice or an opportunity for comment—violated the Administrative Procedure Act.

Shortly after filing the lawsuit, then-FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb issued a statement providing assurance that there would be no further delay and no changes would be made to the menu labeling requirements. Based on that statement, and subject to certain conditions (including that the requirements would go into effect on May 7, 2018), in September 2017, CSPI, NCL, and the FDA agreed to stay the lawsuit. The menu labeling requirements went into effect in May 2018 as promised.

Status: Closed

Outcome: Menu labeling requirements went into effect in May 2018 without changes made to weaken them

Plaintiffs: CSPI and National Consumers League

Counsel: Earthjustice

Jurisdiction & Case Number: 1:17-CV-1085 (D.D.C)