Representative John Carter (R-Texas) has introduced a bill (H.R. 6174) that would change the nutrition disclosure requirements for chain restaurants and other food outlets enacted in the Affordable Care Act that was recently upheld as constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Under the proposal, (i) delivery and take-out restaurants would be able to post calorie information on their Websites; (ii) pizza shops would be allowed to provide calorie-per-slice labeling rather than whole-pizza totals and could publish average totals instead of calorie data for every possible combination of ingredients; (iii) stores would be protected from lawsuits where the nutrient disclosures are “within acceptable allowances” including “allowances for variation in serving size, inadvertent human error in formulation of menu items, and variations in ingredients”; and (iv) the term “restaurant” would be redefined to mean “a retail food establishment that derives more than 50 percent of its total revenue from the sale of food of the type described in subclause (i) or (ii) of clause (A).”
According to Carter, the latter provision recognizes “the differences between grocery store delis, convenience stores, and chain restaurants and ensures the regulations are not unreasonable or unnecessarily burdensome.” The legislation was introduced after a group of national pizza chains formed a coalition to combat the new menu labeling regulations that the Food and Drug Administration has developed to implement the law. Details about the coalition’s effort appear in Issue 444 of this Update. See Press Release of Representative John Carter, July 24, 2012.