New FDA Menu Labeling Regulations Need Clear Guidance for Franchise Restaurants
WASHINGTON, Apr. 1, 2011—The International Franchise Association, in anticipation of today’s release of a notice of proposed rulemaking by the Food and Drug Administration regarding the posting of menu-labeling information, called on regulators to continue to heed the guidance of franchised restaurants and small businesses who are eager to comply with the new rules to provide consumers with helpful information.
The restaurant industry, as the largest business format category in franchising, encompassing more than 246,000 establishments, 4.4 million jobs and $287 billion in economic output according to IFA’s 2011 economic outlook for franchised businesses, has consistently supported providing consumers with clear and consistent nutrition information.
"IFA appreciates the FDA’s willingness to work directly with the franchised restaurant industry and we hope the final rules will result in a workable and affordable regulation for small restaurant owners, particularly in a still challenging economic environment,” said IFA President and CEO Stephen J. Caldeira.
In 2009, IFA in conjunction with leaders in the franchised restaurant industry, developed the Coalition for Responsible Nutrition Information (CRNI), to provide policymakers and regulators with guidance that eases the burden on small businesses to comply with the new law, while at the same time providing consumers with helpful and efficient information. IFA and CRNI met several times with the FDA and the White House and in December submitted comments urging the FDA to complete a full rulemaking process for all provisions in the new menu-labeling regulations.
“The agency’s decision to postpone guidance and conduct a full rulemaking process will allow franchised restaurants to provide input that we hope will result in the government getting the new menu-labeling regulations right the first time, and help minimize cost and confusion for small, franchised restaurants,” continued Caldeira. “We applaud the FDA for moving forward in the most efficient, cost-effective manner possible and urge FDA to continue to give franchise restaurant owners adequate time to comply with the new law.”
“The IFA will be reviewing today’s published notice with our restaurant members over the next several days and we look forward to providing comments to the official record,” Caldeira concluded.
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 nearly 18 million jobs and $2.1 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.