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#RECORDOFSUCCESS: House Passes Commonsense Answer to Administration’s Burdensome Menu-Labeling Rule

Feb 12, 2016
Bipartisan Bill Will Help Small Businesses, Franchisees, and Consumers

WASHINGTON, DC – In an effort to help provide clarity and flexibility to countless small businesses, the U.S. House of Representatives today approved H.R. 2017, the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act, which was authored by Energy and Commerce Committee member and House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA). H.R. 2017 was introduced in April 2015, in response to the nearly 400-page menu-labeling rule from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that seeks to establish one-size fits all requirements on nutritional information. The bill, which passed by a vote of 266-144-1, will make the menu labeling requirements workable and helpful for consumers.

“Prudent, effective labeling standards don’t come in the form of one-size-fits-all rule set forth by unelected bureaucrats; this commonsense bill takes power out of D.C. and puts it back in the hands of consumers and small business owners. It’s a win-win,” said McMorris Rodgers.

“We’ve got a classic example of the administration overreaching with a top-down, big government approach. Its impact is wide-ranging and will negatively impact local pizza joints, convenience stores, grocery stores, amusement parks, and movie theaters, you name it.  The administration’s own estimates state this regulation could cost American businesses $1 billion to comply and 500,000 hours of paperwork,” added Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) during debate on the bill. “That’s a huge chunk of time and money that could be better spent hiring more folks, or creating an improved experience for customers.”

Upton also highlighted Michigan-based Domino’s to illustrate just how burdensome the regulations are. The pizza chain currently has an online calculator that determines accurate nutritional information. With 91 percent of orders placed online, it does not make much sense for Domino’s to have an in-store menu board that won’t provide precise nutrition information for consumers. Additionally, because many consumers are ordering by phone or online, they will not see the menu board until they pick up their order and in many cases will never see the menu board when they have food delivered.

H.R. 2017 passed the Health Subcommittee on November 4, 2015, and the full committee on November 18, 2015, with a bipartisan vote of 36-12-1. Over 200 hundred leading businesses and stakeholders have voiced support for this commonsense solution to address menu-labeling requirements. View the letters of support here.