- Debra Topham
Is Restaurant Labeling like a Diet Plan that Never Starts?
The FDA recently released its Draft Guidance for Industry: Menu Labeling Supplemental Guidance, which proudly and prominently sstates “Contains Nonbinding Recommendations. Draft – Not for Implementation.”
Seems that the FDA isn’t too sure about the rule, and others have taken notice.
Veneble LLP, points out the Menu Labeling laws might never get implemented. [Source: Will FDA Be Forced To Eat Menu Labeling?] As we’ve previously reported (Menu-Labeling Regulations: Congressional Subcommittee June 9th, FDA Clarifies Menu Labeling Compliance Date, Restaurant Nutrition Labeling Deadline Extended) The FDA has extended the deadline several times. The latest deadline is May 7th, 2017 – some 2 years 5 months and 6 days after the original 2015 deadline.
The PDF guidance document, impressive at 36 pages, provides very nice graphics with samples as to how the new rules might be implemented at the point of sale. However, the Veneble article says, “If the [restaurant] material’s “primary purpose” is it to “entice” customers into the establishment, then, according to FDA’s guidance, it need not include calorie disclosures.” But more importantly “This approach stumbles quickly. A menu facing outward on a restaurant window is intended “primarily” to “entice” and to offer specific food items for sale.”
With “food menu labeling” and “food enticement labeling” being very much open to interpretation its obvious Veneble has it right when they say ” If and when restaurants…implement…menu labeling requirements and [the] FDA brings enforcement…there is enormous potential for a regulatory and litigation morass.”
As always, for legal advice please consult your attorney. Knowledge Bank does not provide legal advice. Knowledge Bank provides the food and dietary supplement industries with science, nutrition and regulatory advisory services. We provide “health checkups” for your labels. “