Delaying Menu Labeling Denies Consumer Choice in Decision Making, Says American Heart Association

May 05, 2017 Categories: Advocacy News

Washington, D.C., May 5, 2017American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown issued the following comments on the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) decision to delay menu labeling requirements for restaurants, movie theaters, grocery stores, convenience stores and other retail food establishments from today, May 5, 2017 to May 7, 2018:

“We are extremely disappointed in FDA’s decision to push back – yet again – the deadline for food establishments to provide essential nutrition information their customers want and deserve regarding menu items. Rather than delaying these requirements, the FDA should focus on putting the power of decision making in consumers’ hands. Healthy eating can prevent and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease – our nation’s no. 1 and most costly killer. Being fully informed about exactly what is in their food is a key step to empowering consumers to eat smarter by making healthier choices that are right for them.

Displaying calorie counts and providing nutrition information helps Americans make healthier choices when eating out. Knowing these details in advance of placing an order allows consumers to make side-by-side comparisons and select more nutritious foods off the menu. FDA action is essential to ensure that no matter where you choose to dine, you will have consistent nutrition information that will help support better eating habits overall.

Ironically, today is the day Americans were assured they would have this information available to them at the wide array of retail food establishments covered under the original rule. It is unfathomable why we must wait even longer for this simple nutrition information on menus that allows us to make informed choices. Americans have been waiting seven years for this common-sense rule, and many leading restaurants and other dining establishments already comply with and welcome the certainty of a single menu labeling standard. We applaud these industry leaders and encourage others to follow suit.

The Association urges FDA to reconsider this decision, and encourages Congress to not interfere any further with this much-needed labeling. The American consumer deserves no less.”

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ContactAbbey Dively (202) 785-7905 abbey.dively@heart.org