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Congress: Grocery Stores Aren't Shopping for New Caloric Labels


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Congress: Grocery Stores Aren't Shopping for New Caloric Labels

This year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced regulations that will require restaurant chains to clearly label calorie counts on their menus.

However, some in the FDA didn't believe the initiative was far-reaching enough, and argued for grocery stores to be held to the same standards. According to Packaging Digest, though, 36 members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate have signed a letter finding fault with that plan, and are urging the FDA to stick to its original proposal and leave grocers out of the equation.

The letter to the FDA agrees with the Food Marketing Institute and outlines that Congressional approval was granted for restaurant labeling only. Furthermore, an effort to institute caloric labeling regulations in supermarkets "lacks precedent from state or municipal menu labeling laws," the source notes.

"We believe these letters clarify that members of Congress did not intend for the recently passed chain restaurant menu labeling law to be applied to supermarkets," said Leslie Sarasin, FMI president and CEO, Packaging Digest reports.

However, the effectiveness of such labeling measures in restaurants remains disputed. A recent report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that in a study of 269 menu items from 42 restaurants, 40 percent had calorie listings that were at least 10 percent lower than what was stated on the menu.