- Commissioner Margaret HamburgCommissioner Margaret Hamburg, FDA
- Secretary Kathleen SebeliusU.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Don't exempt pizza chains, theaters, markets and others from menu labeling!
What exactly are the pizza, movie theater, grocery and convenience store industries trying to hide?
In 2010, a federal law was passed to get chain food establishments to provide calorie counts on menus and menu boards. That law makes good sense. Who can tell that a cinnamon roll (510 calories) has more than double the calories in a glazed donut (220), or that a typical tuna salad sandwich has almost 50 percent more calories (720) than a roast beef sandwich (460)?
But now the pizza industry, along with the movie theater, supermarket and convenience store industries, are trying to exempt themselves from and weaken this labeling law -- even though many Americans regularly purchase pre-made meals from these outlets. Under Texas Representative John Carter’s self-servingly named, "Common Sense Disclosure Act of 2012" (HR 6174), supermarkets, convenience stores and movie theaters would not have to post the calories for their prepared foods at all, and pizza chains would only have to list “calories per serving.” That's a real problem since a "personal-sized" pizza can actually contain four servings! How misleading is that?
Any industry that’s afraid to share basic nutritional information with you probably does have something to hide. But Americans deserve that information to allow them to make their own decisions about what to purchase and eat.
Please tell President Obama, Secretary Sebelius and Commissioner Margaret Hamburg that you want calorie labeling on menus and menu boards at pizza chains, movie theaters, grocery stores and convenience stores!
To follow the progress of this menu labeling petition and other food reform issues, please visit my blog: http://nfhconsulting.com/my-blog/
- Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, FDA
Commissioner Margaret Hamburg
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Secretary Kathleen Sebelius
I just signed the following petition addressed to: Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
Please don't exempt pizza chains, movie theaters, convenience stores and grocery stores from federal menu labeling.
Nutrition policy should be based on science and what is best for consumers, not on who has the best lobbyist.
Texas Representative John Carter recently introduced the misnamed "Common Sense Disclosure Act of 2012" (HR6174), which would exempt supermarkets and convenience stores from posting calories for their prepared foods -- even though many Americans regularly purchase pre-made meals from these outlets.
The bill would also allow pizza chains to list calories per serving. That’s a real problem, since it leaves it up to the pizza industry to determine what a serving is. Even now, some chains label a so-called “personal sized” pizza as containing four servings on their website! That sure makes the calorie-count look better and misleads the customer.
Big portions served in restaurants, theaters, groceries and convenience stores mean we often get a lot more food than we realize, or than we may want or need. It's tough to accurately estimate the calorie content of popular foods, even for dietitians.
Americans deserve calorie labeling on menus and menu boards at pizza chains, movie theaters, grocery stores and convenience stores so they have the information they need to make their own decisions about what to purchase and consume. The Administration should not allow any industry to thwart the sharing of basic nutritional information or reward a business model that values secrecy over the consumer's right to know.
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