Keep Federal Menu Labeling Strong!Fri 14 Sep 2012
Story by Nancy Huehnergarth
Please Sign the Petition and Keep Federal Menu Labeling Strong!
What exactly are the pizza, movie theater, grocery and convenience store industries trying to hide?
My NYSHEPA colleagues and I worked hard for years to get menu labeling laws passed locally in New York. Over 60 percent of our state is now covered by menu labeling ordinances. We also worked hard to get a federal menu labeling law passed in 2010, so that all consumers would see calories posted, on menus and menu boards, at chain food establishments.
The law is a simple way for Americans to get the information they need, when dining out, to make better decisions for themselves and their families. Who can tell that a cinnamon roll (510 calories) has more than double the calories in a glazed donut (220), or that a typical tuna salad sandwich has almost 50 percent more calories (720) than a roast beef sandwich (460)?
Since the food and restaurant industries are always urging Americans to take “personal responsibility” for what they eat, one would think that food establishments would be happy to offer this information to their customers. But that's not entirely the case.
Trying To Weaken Federal Law
The pizza industry, along with the movie theater, supermarket and convenience store industries, are trying to exempt themselves from and weaken the federal menu labeling law -- even though many Americans regularly purchase pre-made meals from these outlets.
Industry lobbying is so fierce that Texas Representative John Carter introduced the self-servingly named, "Common Sense Disclosure Act of 2012" (HR 6174), which would exempt supermarkets, convenience stores and movie theaters and help pizza chains mislead consumers by only listing “calories per serving.” That's a real problem since a "personal-sized" pizza can actually contain four servings!
Sign the Petition to Keep Federal Menu Labeling Strong!
With the FDA rulemaking on the menu labeling law stalled and administration seemingly sympathetic to some of these proposed exemptions, it's time to take action!
Americans deserve basic calorie information to allow them to make informed decisions about what to purchase and eat at all chain food establishments.
Please sign our petition, “Don’t exempt pizza chains, theaters, markets and others from menu labeling!” And please pass this petition link on to your friends, families and mailing lists. Let’s show the food industry that our voices are more powerful than their lobbyists!
About the author: Nancy Huehnergarth is a nutrition and physical activity policy and advocacy consultant in New York. Follow her on Twitter @nyshepa
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