Government Relations Update: FDA Announces Menu Labeling Workshops

| June 23, 2016

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is announcing a series of public workshops about menu labeling to help industry comply with requirements to provide calorie and other nutrition information to consumers. The workshops will address the menu labeling final rule – Nutrition Labeling of Standard Menu Items in Restaurants and Similar Retail Food Establishments.

Upcoming Workshops

College Park, Maryland
July 7-8, 2016 – 8 am to 4:30 pm

St. Louis, Missouri
September 27-28, 2016 – 8 am to 4:30 pm

Oakland, California
A third meeting will take place in Oakland, California, later in 2016.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

Source: FDA

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Philadelphia Passes Soda Tax
June 16, 2016

soda
Looking to raise millions for a bold expansion of early childhood education, Philadelphia City Council on Thursday approved a 1.5-cent-per-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened and diet beverages, the first such tax imposed in a major U.S. city.

The 13-4 vote put to bed months of speculation and at-times tense negotiations, but also ensured the national spotlight will stay turned to Philadelphia for months, if not years, to come. Critics quickly vowed to fight it in court. And as Mayor Kenney rolls out the unprecedented levy — and its economic and public health impacts come into view — experts, advocates and legislators will surely be watching closely.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
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FDA Modernizes Nutrition Facts Label for Packaged Foods
May 23, 2016

fdaNew Nutrition Facts Label Goes Into Effect July 26, 2018.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration took a major step in making sure consumers have updated nutritional information for most packaged foods sold in the United States, that will help people make informed decisions about the foods they eat and feed their families.

Key Elements:
Updated design for calories & serving size
Updated more realistic serving sizes
Mandated declaration of added sugars
Greater emphasis on Sugar and less on fats

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

Source: FDA
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Genetically Engineered Crops Are Safe, Analysis Finds
May 18, 2016

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Genetically engineered crops appear to be safe to eat and do not harm the environment, according to a comprehensive new analysis by the advisory group the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

However, it is somewhat unclear whether the technology has actually increased crop yields.

Source: New York Times

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE
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OSHA

New OSHA Injury Reporting Protocol
May 13, 2016

Thanks to NAC member Fisher & Phillips, LLC please note the following rule change for OSHA reporting: The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a final rule on May 11, 2016 that greatly enhances injury and illness data collection from employers. The new rule will require many employers to electronically submit information about workplace injuries and illnesses to the government, and OSHA has announced it intends to post this data on its public website.

http://www.laborlawyers.com/osha-greatly-increases-workplace-injury-reporting-requirements

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No_PHILLY

NAC Joins No Philly Grocery Tax Coalition
April 5, 2016

There is a grocery tax being discussed in the City of Philadelphia that would place a three cent per ounce tax on sodas and beverages. NAC has joined a coalition to stop this tax. This coalition is being formed by the American Beverage Association, also a member of Philadelphians Against the Grocery Tax.

NAC and the American Beverage Association are asking you to get involved. Visit NoPhillyGroceryTax.com and join the coalition. Sign the petition. Send an email to the city council and the mayor. Tell your friends and family about the impact of this proposed beverage tax – and ask them to sign up, too!

Here is a link to a document that provides more information.

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GMO

Senate Stalls Industry-Backed GMO Labeling Bill
March 11, 2016

The Senate blocked a bill Wednesday that would have set voluntary labeling standards for genetically modified foods but would also have barred states like Vermont from setting their own rules.

Republicans argued that companies will soon face a morass of competing label laws that will raise costs for firms and prices for consumers and frighten Americans unnecessarily.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said the bill was “aimed at protecting middle-class families from unfair higher food prices” and argued that calls for labeling were based on unfounded fears of genetically engineered foods.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

Source: Huffington Post

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fda

FDA Delays Menu Labeling Enforcement
March 11, 2016

As a result of language in the omnibus appropriations bill enacted December 18, 2015 (Public Law 114-113 Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016), FDA is delaying enforcement from December 1, 2016, to the date that is one year after it issues final, Level 1 guidance on menu labeling. The draft Level 1 guidance was issued on Sept. 11, 2015, and FDA is considering all comments received and will issue the final guidance as soon as possible.

FDA appreciates the extensive input received from stakeholders throughout the process of establishing requirements for menu labeling and in developing guidance. We will work flexibly and cooperatively with establishments covered by the menu labeling final rule to facilitate compliance and will provide educational and technical assistance for covered establishments and for our state, local, and tribal regulatory partners.

Source: NAC
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NYC Can Require Restaurant Chains to Display Sodium Warning
February 25, 2016

A little black and white salt shaker will start popping up on menus in New York City after a New York State Supreme Court judge upheld the city rule requiring chain restaurants to warn patrons if they’re eating a meal with excessive amounts of sodium, according to a statement by the New York City Health Department.

The rule was passed unanimously last fall by the New York City Board of Health, but was challenged in court by a preliminary injunction requested by the National Restaurant Association.

The ruling means that starting next week restaurants with more than 15 locations will have to use the so-called “sneaky salt” icon on menu items that contain 2,300 milligrams or more of sodium, which is the daily recommended limit.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

Source: ABC News
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High-Salt Warnings on New York Menus
December 1, 2015

Starting Tuesday, diners at many chain restaurants in New York City will see warnings on menus next to items that are high in sodium, under a rule believed to be the first of its kind in the country.

The symbol of a saltshaker in a black triangle will warn customers about items that contain more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium, the recommended daily maximum. The city estimated that 10 percent of menu items will need the warning.

The rule is part of a measure, approved in September, that also requires the restaurants to post a clearly visible statement warning customers that high sodium intake can increase blood pressure and risk of heart disease and stroke.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

Source: The New York Times
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fda

FDA Statement on Release of Menu Labeling Guidance
September 14, 2015

By Dr. Susan Mayne, Director, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a draft guidance document that will help companies to comply with the menu labeling final rule, which requires that calorie information be listed on menus and menu boards in chain restaurants and similar retail food establishments with 20 or more locations. In July, FDA extended the compliance date an additional year, beyond the original December 2015 compliance date, to help facilitate efficient compliance across all covered establishments. The guidance document issued today is an important resource in our efforts to assist those in covered establishments to comply with the rule by December 1, 2016. Ultimately, consumers will be able to make more informed choices for themselves and their families.

We appreciate the extensive input we have received from stakeholders throughout the process of establishing requirements for menu labeling in certain restaurants and other retail food establishments. The guidance document responds to many of the most frequently asked questions that the agency has received to date in emails and during meetings with and presentations to representatives of the range of establishments covered by the new menu labeling rule. These interactions have been invaluable.

This guidance is intended to help establishments implement the rule and better understand the flexibility in the rule. The guidance also answers questions and helps explain how the final requirements work for different types of establishments. The guidance does not and cannot change the final requirements of the menu labeling rule.

The guidance is being issued as a “draft” and we welcome your comments. We will consider all comments before finalizing the guidance and will consider updates to the guidance as needed. We are committed to working collaboratively with establishments covered by the menu labeling final rule, including chain restaurants, covered grocery stores serving restaurant-type food, and others, now and in the future, to answer additional questions. In addition, we will be providing educational and technical assistance for covered establishments and for our state, local, and tribal regulatory partners to support consistent compliance nationwide.

We encourage covered establishments to consider the information in this draft guidance as they prepare to comply with the final rule by December 2016. We will work flexibly and cooperatively with individual companies making a good faith effort to comply. We believe that this cooperative approach helps to improve the dialogue surrounding the requirements and facilitates successful implementation in a practical way.

As a result of these efforts, consumers will have ready access to calorie information they currently may not have to help them make healthy decisions. That’s a worthy outcome of which we can all be proud.

For more information:
Draft Guidance for Industry: A Labeling Guide for Restaurants and Retail Establishments Selling Away-From-Home Foods – Part II (Menu Labeling Requirements in Accordance with 21 CFR 101.11)
Menu and Vending Machines Labeling Requirements
FDA Statement on Extension of Menu Labeling Compliance Date
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GMO

GMO Bill Passes in Vermont
September 8, 2015

A GMO bill has passed the Vermont House and Senate that will require all packaged goods to be labeled; however, there are a few exemptions listed regarding processed foods. The bill takes effect on July 1, 2016. HERE IS A LINK TO THE BILL. Please note the exemptions beginning on page 11. It appears that any unpackaged foods sold at theatres should be exempt from labeling per items #7a and b, on page 13. Also, HERE IS A LINK TO A PUBLIC PRESENTATION put together by the Vermont Attorney General’s Office that does a good job in explaining the key points of the law.
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New-York-State-Seal

New York Introduces Sugar Warning Bill
September 3, 2015

A Bill has been introduced in the New York State Assembly that would require sugar-sweetened food items and beverages to be labeled with a safety warning.

Here is text from Bill Number A08359 and a link to the entire Bill:

TITLE OF BILL: Sugar-sweetened food item and beverage safety warning act.

An act to amend the agriculture and markets law, in relation to the labeling of sugar-sweetened food items and beverages with warnings

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: Requires a safety warning label on certain sugar-sweetened food items, concentrates used to make sugar-sweetened food items, food item dispensing machines, and vending machines that dispense sugar-sweetened food items in order to increase public awareness regarding the health ailments associated with consumption of sugar-sweetened food items, especially obesity, diabetes and tooth decay.

CLICK HERE TO READ ENTIRE BILL
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Candy Taxes Across the USA
August 21, 2015

NAC has obtained a schedule and map of how sales taxes on candy are applied state-by-state across the nation.

Candy_Taxes

This information is courtesy of the National Confectioners Association (NCA).

The sales taxes are broken down by states who treat candy as groceries, states who treat candy differently than groceries and states with no sales tax on candy at all. The schedule also defines how the states treat soda.

Candy Tax Rates (PDF)

Candy Tax Map (PDF)

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FDA Extends Menu Label Compliance Date
July 9, 2015

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Michael R. Taylor, FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine issued this statement which extends the compliance deadline to December 1, 2016:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration appreciates and takes very seriously the extensive input it has received from stakeholders throughout the process of establishing requirements for menu labeling in restaurants and other retail food establishments. The FDA is committed to working collaboratively with those establishments covered by the menu labeling final rule, including chain restaurants, covered grocery stores, and others to facilitate timely and efficient implementation of the new requirements.

Since the FDA issued the menu labeling final rule on December 1, 2014, the agency has had extensive dialogue with chain restaurants, covered grocery stores and other covered businesses, and answered numerous questions on how the rule can be implemented in specific situations. Industry, trade and other associations, including the grocery industry, have asked for an additional year to comply with the menu labeling final rule, beyond the original December 2015 compliance date. The FDA agrees additional time is necessary for the agency to provide further clarifying guidance to help facilitate efficient compliance across all covered businesses and for covered establishments to come into compliance with the final rule. The FDA is extending the compliance date for the menu labeling rule to December 1, 2016, for those covered by the rule.

To support compliance by this date, the FDA will continue to engage in discussions with the covered businesses and to answer questions about how the rule applies in particular situations. In addition, the FDA plans to issue in August 2015 a draft guidance document that provides answers to some of the more frequently asked and crosscutting questions that the agency has received to further assist covered establishments in complying with the rule. This guidance document will be labeled “draft” to reflect the FDA’s openness to further comments and dialogue and to expanding the guidance as new questions arise. The FDA encourages companies to consider the information in the August guidance as they prepare to comply by December 2016.

There will be an opportunity for comment on the draft guidance and the FDA will review any comments received as quickly as possible.

In addition to the guidance, the FDA will also provide educational and technical assistance for the covered businesses and for our state, local, and tribal regulatory partners to support reasonable and consistent compliance nationwide. Now and following the December 1, 2016 compliance date, the FDA will work flexibly and collaboratively with individual companies making a good faith effort to comply with the law.

Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration

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California Senate Fails To Pass Soda Warning Label Bill
May 3, 2015

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A California Senate committee on Wednesday failed to pass a bill that would have required soda companies to print warning labels about the sugar content in the drinks they sell. SB 203, introduced by Senate Majority Leader Bill Monning, D-Carmel, would have required all drinks with 75 calories or more per fluid ounce to carry a warning. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

Source: International Business Times
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FDA Menu Labeling Presentation Available
April 28, 2015

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On Wednesday, April 22, NAC and NATO presented: The How-To-Guide for Compliance With the FDA Menu Labeling Regulations. The session occurred from 3:30 PM – 4:45 PM at CinemaCon .

During the session, Dr. Claudine Kavanaugh of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) discussed all aspects of the new regulations while providing real-world and practical solutions so that you may be able to comply effective December 1, 2015.

The FDA has approved the release of the presentation slides for your use:

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD DR. KAVANAUGH’S PRESENTATION
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NAC and NATO to Present FDA Menu Labeling Guide at CinemaCon
March 3, 2015

On Wednesday, April 22, NAC and NATO will present: The How-To-Guide for Compliance With the FDA Menu Labeling Regulations.
The session will take place from 3:30 PM – 4:45 PM at CinemaCon .

Dr. Claudine Kavanaugh

Dr. Claudine Kavanaugh

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on December 1, 2014 that within one year all food service operations with 20 or more outlets must list calorie counts on all menus and menu boards. These new regulations also mandate that upon request food service operations must also provide complete nutritional analysis of all products served. These new regulations incorporate movie theatres with 20 or more facilities. This panel will feature Dr. Claudine Kavanaugh of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and will discuss all aspects of the new regulations while providing real-world and practical solutions so that you may be able to comply effective December 1, 2015.

Have questions regarding Menu Labeling? email: CalorieLabeling@fda.hhs.gov

Have questions regarding Vending machine labeling? email: CalorieLabelingVend@fda.hhs.gov

Claudine J. Kavanaugh, PhD, MPH, RD

Dr. Kavanaugh is an interdisciplinary scientist in the Office of Foods and Veterinary Medicine at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. She has been with the FDA for eleven years and works on nutrition policy issues. Dr. Kavanaugh’s recent activities include restaurant menu and vending machine labeling, updating the nutrition facts label, and sodium reduction. Prior to joining the FDA, she was a cancer prevention fellow at the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Kavanaugh received her Ph.D. in nutrition from Purdue University and a Master’s in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University. She is also registered dietitian.

Moderator: Don Lear, Senior Customer Marketing Manager for Specialty & Foodservice The Hershey Company and Government Relations Committee Chair, National Association of Concessionaires (NAC)

Panel Members:
Dr. Claudine Kavanaugh – U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
Esther Baruh – Government Relations Manager – National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO)
Brad Derusseau – Chief Technology Officer – CinemaScene
Rodrick Glass – Executive Vice President Business Development –Allure Global
Joel M. Neuman, VP & Sr. Managing Counsel National Foodservice, Coca-Cola

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Beverage Menu Labeling White Paper​
March 3, 2015

NAC member Coca-Cola has recently shared a white paper that it is distributing to customers in regards to the FDA Mandates and the use of Menu Boards.

The purpose of this communication is to provide an overview of the new menu labeling regulations as they apply to beverages. It’s important to note that this is just a summary of the menu labeling regulations intended to assist you in thinking about how to address your menus and menu boards; it is not intended as legal advice, and you should always consult your own legal advisors with questions for your particular circumstances.
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

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Menu Labeling – NAC Responds
January 9. 2015

This article recently appeared on Celluloid Junkie quoting NAC and discussing the new FDA Calorie and Menu Labeling Regulations.

Cinema Concessions Calorie Count Coming in 2015 – NAC Responds

Source: Celluloid Junkie

Mandatory calorie count display is coming to US cinemas in 2015 – but is the industry ready and what are trade bodies such as NAC doing in preparation?
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE
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fda

Here are two stories from The New York Times and Washington Post concerning new FDA rules requiring the posting of calorie counts on menus. NAC will be following this issue closely.

CLICK HERE FOR FDA MENU LABELING FACT SHEET

CLICK HERE FOR 400 PAGE FDA FOOD LABELING DOCUMENT

F.D.A. to Require Calorie Count, Even for Popcorn at the Movies

Source: The New York Times
November 25, 2014

WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration announced sweeping rules on Tuesday that will require chain restaurants, movie theaters and pizza parlors across the country to post calorie counts on their menus. Health experts said the new requirements would help combat the country’s obesity epidemic by showing Americans just how many calories lurk in their favorite foods.

The rules will have broad implications for public health. As much as a third of the calories that Americans consume come from outside the home, and many health experts believe that increasingly large portion sizes and unhealthy ingredients have been significant contributors to obesity in the United States.
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

Calorie counts: Coming to a restaurant, movie theater, vending machine near you

Source: Washington Post
November 25, 2014

Chain restaurants, vending machines, grocery stores, coffee shops and pizza joints will soon have to display detailed calorie information on their menus under long-awaited rules to be issued Tuesday by the Food and Drug Administration.

The calorie-posting requirements extend to an array of foods that Americans consume in their daily lives: popcorn at the movie theater, muffins at a bakery, a deli sandwich, a milkshake at an ice cream shop, a drive-through cheeseburger, a hot dog at Costco or Target.
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE
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EPA

SNAP Comments Due October 20
October 16, 2014

Two industry associations have recently submitted comments to the EPA committee chair regarding a US EPA Proposed Regulation on Refrigerants and Insulation to Protect the Stratospheric Ozone. NAC Members and other interested parties are asked to do likewise.

Under this proposed rule, various hydro fluorocarbons and blends that were previously listed as acceptable alternatives to ozone-depleting substances (ODS) will be listed as unacceptable for some uses. This proposed rule is part of the SNAP (Significant New Alternatives Policy Program) authorized under the Clean Air Act, which the EPA continuously review alternatives to ODS to find substitutes that pose less overall risk to human health and the environment.

The significance to the Concession industry is although all current cooling and refrigerating units are grandfathered, all new or retrofitted equipment will need to meet the proposed EPA regulations. The cost of reconfiguring manufacturing for a January 1, 2016 deadline when the European Union has a deadline of January 1, 2022 will obviously be a burden on the ultimate end-user.

The SNAP Coalition encourages you to submit comments to this committee by the deadline of October 20th at midnight in preparation for upcoming hearings.

Here are comments from SNAP Coalition.

Here is a Sample Letter from NAFEM (North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers) based on specific information from their member manufacturers and can be used as a reference for impacts on end users that manufacturers anticipate will occur

Here is a Sample Letter from AHAM (Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers)

Comments may be submitted via email (a-and-r-docket@epa.gov) or regulations.gov at: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0198-0001

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EPA

EPA Proposed Regulation on Refrigerants and Insulation
September 19, 2014

Source: National Association of Concessionaires (NAC)

(Chicago) Sept. 19, 2015 – NAFEM (National American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers) coordinated a Conference Call on Wednesday, September 17th from their Washington DC offices with a myriad (10 or 11) of interested association public policy representatives to respond and inform regarding a US EPA Proposed Regulation on Refrigerants and Insulation to Protect the Stratospheric Ozone. Under this proposed rule, various hydro fluorocarbons and blends that were previously listed as acceptable alternatives to ozone-depleting substances (ODS) will be listed as unacceptable for some uses. This proposed rule is part of the SNAP (Significant New Alternatives Policy Program) authorized under the Clean Air Act, which the EPA continuously review alternatives to ODS to find substitutes that pose less overall risk to human health and the environment. As safer alternatives become available for particular applications, the list of acceptable substitutes is evaluated and revised.

CLICK HERE FOR POWERPOINT PRESENTATION FROM NAEFEM ON EPA SNAP ISSUE.

CLICK HERE FOR SNAP COALITION GRASSROOTS CONGRESSIONAL OUTREACH COMMENTS

The proposed changes will take into effect on January 1, 2016 and will impact:

· Aerosol propellants
· Motor vehicle air conditioning systems
· New and retrofit retail food refrigeration equipment (including condensing units) and new and retrofit vending machines
· All Foam blowing end users

The significance to the Concession industry is though all current cooling and refrigerating units are grandfathered, all new or retrofitted equipment will need to meet the proposed EPA regulations. The cost of reconfiguring manufacturing for a January 1, 2016 deadline when the European Union has a deadline of January 1, 2022 will obviously be a burden on the ultimate end-user. It is also feared that because the new refrigerants and coolants will be in short supply due to the rapid change-over that auto air conditioning will be the primary initial user limiting supply for all other equipment. It is also feared that end-users will extend the life of old equipment so that they won’t be impacted by the new regulations resulting in continued use of inefficient equipment and ultimately dirty ozone levels.

The interested association groups are currently requesting a delay in comments from the current October 6th deadline for at least 30 additional days so that an industry response can be coordinated. It is the goal of the group to request an extension of the proposed rule until 2022 as is the case with the EU.

The Association Group will meet on a weekly basis to coordinate efforts.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO NAC GOVERNMENT RELATIONS PAGE

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nac-news

NAC Calls Suffolk County, NY Concessions Mandates Well Intended but Impractical
July 31, 2014

Source: National Association of Concessionaires (NAC)

(CHICAGO) July 31, 2014 -National Association of Concessionaires (NAC) though lauding the Suffolk County, New York Legislature on their well-intended approach to, “Adopt a leadership role in promoting good health and fighting obesity,” finds such an Orwellian mandate as Resolution #1096-2014 (a Local Law to establish healthy food standards at Suffolk County facilities) as, “Ill-conceived and destined for failure,” stated Daniel C. Borschke, FASAE, CAE, Executive Vice President of NAC.

HERE IS A STORY ABOUT THE RESOLUTION IN THE SUFFOLK TIMES

SEE THIS STORY AS PICKED UP BY FILM JOURNAL

The legislation, adopted on Tuesday, July 29, 2014 which exempts correctional facilities, a minor league baseball stadium, a museum and the community college mandates concessionaires shall offer four (4) daily fresh fruit or vegetable choices with a minimum of one daily leafy-green salad and one vinegar-based dressing; attempt to offer salads, sandwiches and entrees that have no more than 700 calories with 25% of offerings having 550 calories or less, containing no more than 800 mg of sodium and made of whole grains while also offering at least one steamed, baked or grilled vegetable option daily and half of all soup offerings shall contain no more than 480 mg of sodium per 8 oz. serving.

Though NAC does recognize the societal epidemic among children and adults in regards to obesity, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes it would be more effective if municipalities would partner with those who relate and service customers on a daily basis on their food choices rather than mandating, “From the mount,” edicts which have proven in the past inequitable and poorly conceived as was the case in New York City and their soda cup effort.

“Choice and meeting customer needs and desires are the backbone of the US marketplace and it has been proven time and time again that industry will provide their customers what they demand. The landscape is splattered with failed enterprises that attempted to force their food and beverage desires on a less than responsive customer-base,” Borschke continues.

“NAC would welcome the opportunity to work with Suffolk County to tackle mutual dietary issues during their implementation and enforcement of the new law, cognizant of the fact that mandates can sometimes produce unanticipated results such as less interest in concession contracts, unemployed food service workers, food waste and budget deficits due to a lack of participation in county food offerings,” Borschke concluded.

Founded in 1944, NAC represents the operators and food, beverage and service suppliers in the recreation and entertainment concession industry. As a 501 C6 not for profit trade association, NAC provides advocacy, education and research for its world-wide membership.

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Inside A Shinsegae Co. E-Mart Store Ahead Of Consumer Confidence Data

City Loses Final Appeal on Limiting Sales of Large Sodas
June 26, 2014

Source: The New York Times

The Bloomberg big-soda ban is officially dead.

The state’s highest court on Thursday refused to reinstate New York City’s controversial limits on sales of jumbo sugary drinks, exhausting the city’s final appeal and handing a major victory to the American soft-drink industry, which bitterly opposed the plan. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

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Inside A Shinsegae Co. E-Mart Store Ahead Of Consumer Confidence Data

State’s top court eyes Board of Health’s goal to ban large sugary drinks
June 5, 2014

Source: New York Post

ALBANY — Lawyers for New York City argued before the state’s highest Court Wednesday that the Board of Health has sweeping powers allowing it to restrict the size of sugary drinks — leading a judge to question if it might also get around to outlawing Big Macs and M&M’s.

In a closely watched case with national implications, city lawyers sought to overturn lower-court rulings that the health panel had exceeded its authority in 2012 when it limited the size of sweetened beverages in restaurants to 16 ounces. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

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Seattle raises minimum wage to $15 an hour, highest in U.S.
June 2, 2014

Source: Los Angeles Times

This progressive and expensive city struck a blow against rising income inequality Monday when the City Council voted unanimously to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, the highest municipal minimum of any metropolis in the country and the rallying cry of fast-food workers and union organizers nationwide..

With the council chambers standing room only and supporters waving signs declaring “Seattle needs a raise” and “$15 good work Seattle,” council members approved the new ordinance, which will go into effect on April 1, 2015, and be phased in over the next three to seven years depending on the size of the business. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

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GMO

Vermont lawmakers send GMO food-labeling law to governor
April 23, 2014

Source: Reuters

A law that would make Vermont the first U.S. state to enact mandatory labeling of foods made with genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, received final approval from state lawmakers on Wednesday and now heads to the governor’s desk.

The Vermont House of Representative passed the bill 114-30. Last week, the Vermont Senate, by a vote of 28-2, approved the measure, which requires foods containing GMOs sold at retail outlets to be labeled as having been produced or partially produced with “genetic engineering.” CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

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NAMA

NLRB to Consider Proposed Rule on Union
April 4, 2014

Source: NAMA

The National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) is asking its members and members of other trade groups such as NAC to contact their lawmakers regarding this important issue.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or “Board”) has recently proposed an expansive rule to change the Board’s procedures for union election campaigns in the workplace. The rule was first proposed in 2011, but was halted from implementation due to a court ruling that determined that the Board used improper procedures to adopt it.

The Board received 65,958 written comments from organizations and employers expressing concern about the effect of the 2011 rule, and yet despite this significant response, the current proposed rule is essentially the same as the version introduced in 2011. More specifically, the proposed rule contains a number of detrimental provisions. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

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Care_act

NATO Urges Redefinition of 40 Hour Work Week Under ACA
April 1, 2014

Source: NATO

The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) is asking its members and members of other trade groups such as NAC to contact their lawmakers regarding this important issue.

Click here to tell Congress to redefine full-time employment as the traditional 40-hour work week under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The letter to lawmakers found at the hyperlink can be edited, and NATO encourages you to do so. To send, simply enter your zip code to identify your Member of Congress, provide your contact information, and click the “Send Message” button. The letter is already customized to reflect whether your lawmaker is a current cosponsor of H.R. 2575. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE
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soda

California Lawmaker Proposes Warning Labels to Sodas
February 13, 2014

Source: L.A. Times

Citing studies linking soda to obesity, a state lawmaker and medical experts proposed a first-in-the-nation bill Thursday that sugary drinks sold in California carry health warning labels similar to those on cigarette packs. They want warning labels on the fronts of all cans and bottles of soda and juice drinks that have sugar added and 75 or more calories per 12 ounces. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

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bartender

Under New Food Safety Law, Bartenders Have to Wear Gloves
January 14, 2014

Source: L.A. Times

Chefs aren’t the only ones affected by a new food safety law that bans culinary workers from touching certain foods with their bare hands. Like chefs, bartenders have to wear gloves or use other utensils to make their drinks. No touching ice, fruit garnishes or anything else that goes directly into your glass.

Changes to the California Retail Food Code that went into effect at the beginning of 2014 require disposable gloves or utensils such as tongs, paper or scoops to be used when handling “ready-to-eat” foods, which include sushi, bread, deli meats and fresh fruit and vegetables. Basically, nothing that won’t be cooked or reheated before it goes out to diners can be touched with bare hands.
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE.

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malloy

Malloy Serves Up Historic GMO Labeling Law
December 11, 2013

Source: Danbury Daily Voice

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Fairfield restaurant Catch A Healthy Habit hosted Gov. Dannel Malloy and local lawmakers Wednesday afternoon for the official signing of a historic state law that requires food products to be labeled if they contain genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. Four other states must enact similar GMO laws before the labeling can begin. The combined population of the five states must number at least 20 million people and include Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania or New Jersey. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

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Food industry presses for voluntary GMO labeling standards
November 27, 2013

Source: The Hill

Crucial players in the American food industry are pressing for legislation that would institute a national voluntary labeling system for products that contain genetically engineered ingredients, according to documents obtained by The Hill. The effort follows expensive battles in California and Washington over state ballot initiatives seeking to impose mandatory labeling regulations for foodstuffs containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs). CLICK HERE TO READ MORE
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FDA Chief Says Menu Labeling Regulations Coming Soon
November 8, 2013

Source: Convenience Store News

WASHINGTON, D.C. — New regulations regarding menu labeling and calorie information are expected to be released soon, but writing the rules has proved more complicated than expected, according to a report by The Hill.

At a Nov. 5 event sponsored by Bloomberg Government, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said she originally anticipated that the process of issuing the regulations, which are mandated by the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, “[would] be one of the most straightforward tasks. Little did I know how complicated it would be.” CLICK HERE TO READ MORE
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Tax on Soda to be Floated in San Francisco
October 28, 2013

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

Now it’s time for San Francisco to take its turn in the sugary beverage battle. Supervisor Scott Wiener plans this week to introduce a ballot measure that would set a tax on sugary beverages. The proceeds would fund health, nutrition and activity programs for city youth. Wiener’s proposal would levy a tax of 24 cents on each can of soda sold in the city, where fast-food restaurants are already prohibited from handing out free toys in kids’ meals high in fat, salt and sugar. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE
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New York Soda Ban to Go Before State’s Top Court
October 22, 2013

Source: The New York Times

The battle over big sodas is not yet finished. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s ballyhooed and much-criticized attempt to limit the size of sugary drinks in New York City is set to be reviewed by the state’s highest court, the Court of Appeals, the city announced on Thursday, offering a final chance to salvage a plan that has twice been rejected by judges as improper. But the fate of the proposal now lies squarely in the hands of Mr. Bloomberg’s successor. The Court of Appeals is not planning to take up the case until next year, after Mr. Bloomberg is out of office, leaving the decision to pursue the case up to the next mayor. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE
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Mexico Takes Bloomberg-Like Swing at Soaring Obesity
October 16, 2013

Source: New York Times

In a bet against an epidemic of obesity and diabetes, President Enrique Peña Nieto has proposed a tax on sales of all sugary drinks. If it goes through, the tax will make Mexico a rare test case of a national soda tax directed at a severe obesity problem. The proposal has set off heated arguments in Mexico, but in the middle of the debate is an anti-obesity crusader from New York, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. Beyond his push to limit the sale of large sugary drinks in his own city, Mr. Bloomberg’s foundation is helping to finance the drive to curb them in Mexico as well. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE
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ACA Notice – No Penalty for Noncompliance with Notice Requirement
September 16, 2013

Source: NAC

The following is a link to an FAQ on the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) website that confirms no penalty will be imposed for failing to comply with a notice requirement under the Affordable Care Act, which requires an employer to notify its employees on or before October 1, 2013, (i) about the Health Exchange, and (ii) as to whether the employer will offer health-care coverage to its employees. This notice requirement was discussed by Russell Hollrath, Esq. of Hollrath LLC during the Government Relations Panel at the 2013 NAC Conference & Trade Show in New Orleans. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE
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