Statement of CSPI Vice President for Nutrition Margo G. Wootan
We’re pleased to see in its statement today that the FDA agrees that Americans deserve to know what they’re eating and that the Agency isn’t planning any further delay in menu labeling. Calorie labeling at chain restaurants and supermarkets is here to stay. Diners want and appreciate the information and most chain restaurants are already in compliance. Further, a new independent economic analysis found that delaying these standards would actually increase costs for chain food establishments, rather than save them money as industry has claimed.
That said, we’ll be vigilant in ensuring that the guidance issued by the Food and Drug Administration provides customers of supermarkets, convenience stores, pizza chains, and other retailers that sell restaurant-type foods access to calorie information at the point of decision-making. We continue to urge Congress to reject legislation aimed at carving out special exemptions for the pizza, supermarket, and convenience store industries.
Today’s decision by Commissioner Gottlieb should also make it clear to Congress that it is time for them to move on from their attempts to gut menu labeling standards. CSPI will continue to oppose the anti-consumer choice, anti-menu labeling legislation (S. 261/H.R. 772) currently being considered by Congress that aims to carve out special exemptions for the pizza, supermarket, and convenience store industries.
More than 130,000 Americans recently voiced their support for menu labeling by filing comments with the FDA, and we trust that that outpouring of support from consumers helped inform the announcement made by Commissioner Gottlieb today.