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Food Wars: Food Caloric Values on Menus

Food Wars: Food Caloric Values on Menus

Jerry Hirsch | Irish TImes

The restaurant trade group’s priority is getting rid of local laws in favour of one national standard for menu labelling, which it says will make it easier for the national chains to standardise their menus and policies.

“We believe we are supporting the approach that has the most realistic chance of passage and the best success in preventing a patchwork of harmful regulation and legislation across the country,” says Beth Johnson, the group’s spokeswoman.

Harkin – whose bill was merged with a similar proposal by senators Tom Carper and Lisa Murkowski- doesn’t plan to lower the 20- eatery threshold.

“We think this is a good deal and is consistent with local policies,” says Bergen Kenny, a spokeswoman for Harkin.

The provisions are in the Affordable Health Choices Act, the giant healthcare overhaul bill that is tied up in the Senate Finance Committee. It has passed the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and a similar bill was introduced in the House this year.

Technological advances have made it inexpensive to calculate the nutritional content of food, undermining the argument that smaller restaurant companies and large standalone eateries need an exemption from the regulations, says Blum, the executive from Louisville- based Yum.

Although the fight over menu labelling has created unlikely bedfellows as well as a rare schism within the restaurant industry, El Pollo chief executive Carley says the issues are important. “If this is truly about nutrition and obesity,” he says, “it is intellectually dishonest to have some restaurants disclose nutritional information and others not.” – (Los Angeles Times/ Washington Post)

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