Independent grocers and convenience store operators welcomed the U.S Food and Drug Administration’s submission of an interim final rule to the White House Office of Management and Budget that signals a delay in the agency’s final menu-labeling rule.
Earlier this month, the National Grocers Association (NGA), representing the independent grocery sector, and the National Association of Convenience Stores submitted a petition to FDA, requesting a stay of the final rule’s effective date. As reasons for the request, the petition cited the confusion engendered by the final rule and its guidance regarding compliance and coverage, as well as the question of the cost of compliance for non-restaurant retailers.
“We’re pleased to see the pending delay in menu labeling, and this is certainly a good first step," noted Greg Ferrara, SVP of government relations and public affairs at Arlington, Va.-based NGA. Implementation of this regulation represents one of the costliest regulations for the supermarket industry, with estimates exceeding $1 billion for our industry alone, and there remains a lot of uncertainty and confusion with the law. We applaud the administration for listening to the concerns of Main Street grocers, and look forward to working with the FDA on important fixes to the regulation that will provide independent supermarkets with regulatory flexibility and protection from private rights of action as they try to implement this law in-store.”
The effective date of the rule, which was initially released in November 2014, has already been delayed twice before, once until December 2016, and then until May 5 of this year.
For more information on this breaking news story, see the article by Progressive Grocer sister publication Convenience Store News.