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Committee Leaders Urge FDA to Ensure States Follow Law on Nutrition Labeling

Jul 14, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC – Energy and Commerce Committee leaders today sent a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding localities like New York City ignoring the agency’s current authority over nutrition labeling, and instituting their own standards. The letter was signed by Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR), Health Subcommittee Chairman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX), Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA).

“In 2010, Congress enacted calorie and nutrition labeling standards for chain restaurants and similar retail food establishments with twenty or more locations, which included a federal preemption provision. Congress recognized the need to replace the patchwork of state regulations in order to improve the ability of restaurants and similar retail food establishments to provide meaningful information to consumers regarding the nutritional content of the food they consume,” wrote Walden, Burgess, and McMorris Rogers. “The federal preemption provision is clear: states, cities, and other local governments only have the power to pass or implement nutrition-labeling requirements that are the same as the federal requirements, and may only pass or implement different requirements if they request and obtain specific permission from FDA. This includes the effective and compliance dates of the requirements.”

The leaders continued, “On May 1, 2017, FDA published an interim final rule extending the compliance date for menu labeling requirements to May 7, 2018, and establishing a 60-day comment period. We were troubled to learn that despite the clear federal preemption in existing law, some states and municipalities are seeking to impose requirements that are inconsistent with federal nutrition-labeling standards.”

Click HERE to read a copy of the letter.