FDA Delays Deadline for Menu Calorie Count

Food giants are fighting the national mandate calorie counts on menus.

After food giants and pizza industry lobbyists spoke at a Congressional hearing last week, the US Food and Drug Administration once again delayed the deadline for chain restaurants and movie theaters to include calorie counts on its menus. The pizza industry is one of the law’s most outspoken opponents: the American Pizza Community—the lobbying party for Domino’s, Papa John’s Pizza, Pizza Hut, Godfather’s Pizza, and Little Caesars—argues calorie displays will be labor-intensive and ineffective. “What I don’t want to do is put ranges that consumers will not understand and make my small businesses pay for it,” Lynn Liddle, executive vice president of communications for Domino’s, said. Menu labeling became law in 2010 under President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, but opposition from national chains has delayed details and reinforcement of the rule until at least December 2016. “This is a huge victory for the restaurant lobbyists,” Marion Nestle, a nutrition, food studies, and public health professor at New York University, said. “Food companies must be hoping that if they can delay menu labeling long enough, it will just go away.”

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