Clear Guidance From the FDA Will Expedite Nutrition Information to Restaurant Consumers
WASHINGTON, July 8, 2010—The International Franchise Association today urged the Food and Drug Administration to provide clear and concise menu labeling guidance to maximize voluntary restaurant participation and minimize consumer confusion.
“We urge the FDA to consider the unique nature of franchised restaurants as it develops new voluntary menu labeling rules,” IFA Vice President of Government Relations David French said in a letter to FDA officials. “These are small, local businesses. A strong voluntary rule now will help minimize the burdens on small franchised restaurants, promote greater restaurant participation in the near term and give restaurant customers important nutrition information.”
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, signed into law March 23, 2010, requires chain restaurants and similar retail food establishments with 20 or more locations doing business under the same name to disclose specific nutrition information on certain food items. FDA must publish a final rule by March 23, 2011. The new law also requires the FDA to publish voluntary guidelines specifying the terms and condition for implementation 120 days after enactment, which is July 21, 2010.
“IFA supported the new provision to establish of a single, national standard for menu labeling that makes the federal law preemptive of inconsistent state and local laws and ordinances that restaurants face today,” French said. “To expedite the availability of nutrition information to consumers as soon as possible, it is critical that the FDA’s first official guidance on the standards by which restaurants must operate are clear and concise, which we believe will lead to higher participation in the voluntary program and reset the landscape for menu labeling standards in the future.”
French said that 40 percent of IFA’s members are involved in the food industry, demonstrating the importance of the franchise business model as a vital tool in the growth and sustainability of the nation’s restaurants as well as the delivery of sound, nutrition information to consumers.
For a copy of the letter to FDA,
About the International Franchise Association
The International Franchise Association is the world’s oldest and largest organization representing franchising worldwide. Celebrating 50 years of excellence, education and advocacy, IFA protects, enhances and promotes franchising through government relations, public relations and educational programs. Through its awareness campaign highlighting the theme, Franchising: Building Local Businesses, One Opportunity at a Time, IFA promotes the 21 million jobs and $2.3 trillion of economic activity generated by franchising. IFA members include franchise companies in over 90 different business format categories, individual franchisees and companies that support the industry in marketing, law and business development.