The following is an update on menu labeling from the National Restaurant Association. They are moving quickly on multiple fronts to advance our industry's position.
Here's the latest:
Legal strategy: As many of you know, New York City recently announced it intends to begin enforcement of its own menu labeling standard on August 21. We strongly believe that enforcement actions by states and cities, such as New York City’s effort, violate federal law. We continue to urge FDA to issue a formal Advisory Opinion informing the city that federal preemption prevents the city's August 21 enforcement date. Simultaneously, our Restaurant Law Center – working with our outside counsel, Hogan Lovells – has been reviewing legal arguments to challenge New York City's efforts. We are pleased to report that we are working with the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) on an industry-supported lawsuit. Please be aware that we could file a complaint as early as tomorrow (Friday) to ensure we have adequate time to request an injunction before New York City’s planned August 21 enforcement date.
Regulatory comments: As you are aware, the FDA recently extended the deadline for public comments on the federal menu-labeling regulations until Aug. 2, 2017. Our Advocacy team is working with a broad cross-section of our national members to develop our industry comments ahead of the new deadline. The extension of the comment period affords us the opportunity to further develop our comments around flexibility, while also reaffirming our positions on federal preemption, legal liability protections, requiring all establishments to label, and maintaining the small business protection.
Legislative efforts: Our political team remains in conversations with Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rogers (R-Wash.) and her staff about her pending menu-labeling bill. We are also in constant communication with House Energy and Commerce Committee staff about a potential hearing and mark-up on Rep. McMorris-Rogers’ legislation.
Please feel free to contact Cicely Simpson with any questions.