CC/Public DomainThis week, New York City—the aboriginal abode in America to crave alternation restaurants to cavalcade calorie advice on their menus—expanded the ability of its menu-labeling law.
The burghal is now “the aboriginal city to crave grocery and accessibility aliment with added than 15 outlets civic to acutely affectation calorie counts for able foods and beverages and accept added comestible advice accessible aloft request,” letters New York’s Fox 5. “The rules will administer to about 1,500 aliment retailers.”
This amplification is a apple of a larger, advancing agitation in Washington over the fate of federal menu-labeling rules.
In a cavalcade aftermost month, I accurately predicted the bureau amenable for implementing the rules, the FDA, was acceptable to delay—once again—implementing administration of its menu-labeling rules. The bureau delayed administration the rules—which were allowable by Congress beneath 2010’s Affordable Care Act—for one year, aloof canicule afore administration was set to begin.
I argue binding card labeling for abounding reasons. For one: it’s ineffective. Analysis has apparent that announcement binding calorie counts on restaurant airheaded doesn’t advice bodies accomplish bigger choices.
One key afraid point in Washington is whether the federal rules should administer (as they now do in New York City) to grocery and accessibility stores, forth with pizza chains. This week, the USA Today beat lath advised in on the issue. Apparently, the USA Today editors accept never apparent a beneath awkward botheration than devising and acknowledging with menu-labeling rules.
“It’s not rocket science,” the USA Today editors note. It’s “so acutely simple.”
Isn’t it alike a little bit difficult? Nope.
“[H]ow adamantine can it be to cavalcade a baby assurance over anniversary alms with a calorie count?” they ask. “Not very.”
The declared artlessness of devising and acknowledging with menu-labeling rules is a accepted altercation in abutment of them. If it’s so accessible to accommodate calorie information, afresh absolutely one abode that charge accept ample it out is the Breaking News Café, amid central USA Today’s Mclean, Va. headquarters.
I alleged this anniversary to ask.
The woman who answered the switchboard at Gannett (USA Today’s ancestor company) at apex on Thursday said she could not affix me with the bistro because she did not accept their adapted number. But she volunteered to me that she has not apparent calorie advice during the times she has been in the Breaking News Café. (She afresh affiliated me with catering, area the buzz rang a few times afore I was disconnected.)
I did a bit added dabbling around. While abounding of the two-dozen or so photos of the bistro appearance aliment on sale, I did not see any calorie counts displayed. Maybe this is because the calorie advice aloof isn’t there. Or it could be because the advice is present but goes disregarded (which would clue with analysis that best bodies don’t alike see calorie counts on menus, appropriately acquisition their actual purpose). Or maybe there’s a long, sad aisle of changing centralized memos from USA Today’s editors ambitious calorie counts be displayed at the Breaking News Café.
I don’t know. (No one responded to my Thursday email to the beat board.) One affair I do know, though, is that the USA Today beat gets at atomic one key actuality amiss about card labeling back it argues the FDA rules abode “no burdens on baby business, as the law applies abandoned to chains with 20 or added outlets.”
As I’ve accounting time and again, that’s not how it absolutely works. Franchisees—small-businesspeople who own one or added restaurants that USA Today argues should be accountable to the rules, such as your bounded Domino’s franchisee—could be affected to accede with the rules. A baby baron who owns one Pizza Hut location, for example, would accept to pay conceivably bags of dollars to buy one or added new card boards if the FDA applies its rules to baby businesses like hers.
Ultimately, admitting the claims of menu-labeling supporters, it’s neither accessible nor cost-free nor able to force aliment sellers to add calorie counts to their menus.
We should atom this menu-labeling nonsense. While the FDA is an accessible target, the bureau can’t act alone. Congress anesthetized a law acute the FDA to actualize a menu-labeling regime. If Congress wants to aition one allotment of Obamacare that doesn’t work, it can and should alpha with card labeling.
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