Political food fight: Lobbyists challenge FDA calorie count regulations

Popcorn and PizzaCan there be such a thing as too much information? Grocers and restaurateurs would say so, and they are lobbying for exceptions from Affordable Care Act provisions requiring therm to label the calorie content on all prepared food products.

Many were appalled by the almost 3,000 pages that made up the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare. But that’s minuscule compared to the regulations rule-makers are drafting to implement the law.

As of July, there were some 13,000 pages of regulations already in place, according to Fox News, and the businesses that those rules affect are all campaigning for exemptions.

U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., an original sponsor of the labeling provisions, is upset that the law hasn’t yet been implemented, three years after it was passed.

“The delay can be directly tied to the lobbying,” DeLauro said, according to Politico. “I don’t think there’s any question about that. Every group is trying to opt out.”

It all comes down to behavior modification by the government in an effort to make a leaner America.

“Proponents argue the labels are one element of a larger strategy to modify behavior over time, in how consumers choose what to eat and what restaurants decide to serve,” Politico’s Brett Norman wrote. “Once those high calorie counts are on the menu for all to see — and some restaurants are already doing it voluntarily — chain restaurants may offer some leaner options.”

However, areas where similar state laws and local ordinances are already in place show no definitive results from the labeling requirement.

Such regulations also can add a huge burden to the businesses they affect.

“But, with over 34 million ways to make a pizza it’s virtually impossible to post on a store menu board,” Lynn Liddle, chairwoman of the American Pizza Community and an executive vice president at Domino’s, wrote in an email to Politico.

Read more in Politico:

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About Michael Dorstewitz

Mike has been with BizPac Review almost from the beginning. Email Mike at michael@bizpacreview and follow him on Twitter at @MikeBPR.

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