Skip to comments.Menu labeling bill introduced by U.S. lawmakers (Harkin, DeLauro)
Posted on 05/19/2009 12:06:36 PM PDT by reaganaut1
Two federal lawmakers have introduced legislation to require fast-food and other chain restaurants to post calories on menu boards and food display tags. The chains also would have to put information about calories, fats, carbohydrates and salt on printed menus.
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) on Thursday introduced the Menu Education and Labeling Act, called the MEAL Act for short. They said it would help consumers make more informed choices about the nutritional content of the food they are ordering.
The bill has the support of many consumer and health groups and emulates legislation signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in September that requires chain restaurants in California to display calorie counts with each menu item. That was the nation's first state law of its kind; it won the support of the California Restaurant Assn. because it standardized requirements and preempted ordinances in Santa Clara and San Francisco.
Health advocates believe that when people see the amount of calories, fat and salt in meals before they order them, they will gravitate to more healthful selections.
"Consumers play an impossible guessing game trying to make healthier choices in restaurants," said Margo Wootan, nutrition policy director for the Center for Science in the Public Interest. "Who would guess that a large chocolate shake at McDonald's has more calories than two Big Macs or that a multigrain bagel at Dunkin' Donuts has 140 more calories than a jelly doughnut?"
The restaurant industry is pushing a competing bill. The Labeling Education and Nutrition Act, nicknamed the LEAN Act, would require chains with more than 20 units to post calorie counts. It also would nullify state and local measures now in effect and preempt future regional measures.
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
Still waiting for my cable bill to drop ... how dumb are people anyway.
Judging by the fact that bill has been introduced, very.
It’s all part of the bread a circuses act.
Not needed with the internet/libraries/etc... The nutrition in fast food is easy to find.
Google “mcdonald’s big mac nutrition”
Those who care about their weight, know what are reasonable choices at fast food places.
Those who don’t care about their weight, would ignore labels.
What’s the point?
Doesn’t Article VII Section VI of the U.S. Constitution cover federal regulation of fast food restaurants? /s
One of these days they’ll come up with a fingernail criteria for how long our nails can be.
This federal government is soooo outside the Founder’s box.
It should be up to the private business to post this. If enough consumers stop eating at their restaurants because they do not provide the nutritional information than they are already punished. Common sense.
No, it isn’t. Don’t forget though how the left loves to label and categorize.
I saw the delay in the switch to digital television to be the same type of thing. People who were interested in television had every opportunity to get ready by the February deadline. Those that weren’t going to be ready by then, won’t be ready now.
What a waste of time.
EVERYTHING is the bailiwick of the FedZilla.
This concerns citizens health, as such, a prime responsibility of the state.
In the near future, one could envision someone over their weight being denied an item that exceeds their recommended caloric count for their meal. Hooked up to a health DB, the info could be immediately downloaded to the eatery in question, and the sensible choice chosen for that individual.
Yeah, we need to know that a burger and fries is not carrot sticks and frogurt...these idiots...what happened to “the worst economy since the Great Depression” mantra these birdbrains rammed down our throats, now they want business costs to go through the roof, do they think we won’t end up paying more??? Geez...I am just about ready to close up my little business, send everyone packing and go fishing for a living...this is insane...
It's important to the libs that they show us that they "care".
No it's all part of the complete, and total control act.
True. Some states and cities have such laws in place already.
WTF? Every fast food place into which I go already posts this information. Why is this bill even being proposed?
Another useless law that pushes up prices and adds no value.
The vast majority of people know which items on the menu are healthier and which are deadly if consumed on a frequent bases.
People who care also know that if they want to they can decrease the number of calories in any given meal simply by not eating the bread.
They can reduce sodium by ordering the fries with out salt, the sandwich without pickles and catsup.
Anyone who cares know what to order.
Nannys of the world: go away and leave us in peace. We can take care of ourselves.
And if there is room they can also squeeze on the price in small type.
I was at a fast food drive through today. I was thinking about ordering a milkshake too, but the menu board was already so crowded with everything that I couldn't find it by the time I finished the rest of my order. I probably didn't need it anyway.
Is the way of tyrants.
Where is the clause in the Constitution that says Congress shall protect us from what we eat?
These morons have got to go!
I’m against a law requiring this, but I sure would enjoy it if more restaurants did this voluntarily. I avoid a lot of places because unless I go searching around on the internet, I don’t have any idea how many calories there are in the meal. It would be awesome to have that right there on the menu. But, once again, it’s not the government’s responsibility to require something like that. Should be up to the businesses themselves.
MMMMmmmm....milkshake....maybe that’s what I’ll have for lunch....instead of something healthy!
This is such a lie.
Just about every fast food or restaurant we eat at will gladly give you the nutritional information off their website as a .pdf or excel spreadsheet.
I wish a creative Republican would put an amendment into this bill that the charges for increased food prices from menu changes will be paid for from the salaries of Democratic House Leadership.
I know I would like to know how many calories are in meals at places I go to. Sure, I could usually look it up on-line before I go for some places but how often will I do that? And many places don't offer that But when I go to Olive Garden or Outback I'd like to be able to have a menu that tells me exactly what it is I'm consuming.
Using government to help people empower themselves is, IMO, a legitimate use. It's when the government starts making those choices or pushing people one way or the other that bothers me.
We still like the FDA to make sure our meat is safe right? And to inspect the facilities food is processed/stored at right? There is little difference here.
How did the citizenry survive before the government controlled every aspect of their lives? How will the citizenry survive when the air we breathe is taxed for our own good?
“This is not the business of the federal government.”
And when did that ever stop the government.
What a waste of their time and OUR money.
Stop right there! Your post has a food reference and I see no calorie information whatsoever. You are hereby fined $500.
Right and what ever happened to "it's the economy stupid"? The economy is in the toilet and the democrats in Washington are doing everything they can to make the cost of doing business higher.
How does the federal govt have power over McDonalds?
They dont get federal money. Only the states or cities can make these laws
It might not be a wise exercise of Federal power, but it is not an unconstitutional exercise of Federal power.
I agree, I already have two parents.....I don’t need anymore.
This sort of regulation is something that should happen (and does) on the state and local level.
To quote the 10th ammendment:
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
You cannot expect a document written over two centuries ago to really be applicable in the modern world, do you.
They want it in bigger letters that some people can’t read in English or other wise.
I'll send that to Barnie ~ he's sensitive to issues affecting colons.
It's really not their fault you forgot to bring your i-POD with you for an instant check.
My weariness with meddlesome leftist sob’s is rapidly evolving into an intense hatred. Nobody worthy of the name ‘American’ would vote for such human dreck.
but instead of fighting them, the food industry is pushing for a somewhat less intrusive bill. As long as this remains the dynamic we are all just totally screwed. (so I guess we shouldn’t hold our breath waiting for more Harry and Louise ads...)
Oh BS. They just want to harass big successful companies.
Mark my words, if they get this through, they will up the ante ... next will be govt control of what restaurants can serve.
Exactly. How many years have we had this precisely this info on food products? Has the national waistline changed for the better?
I had the same thought. Already there is talk of taxing soda to help pay for universal coverage.
>>next will be govt control of what restaurants can serve.
Yes, and the subsequent reductions in portions.....long a holy grail. Restaurants will eagerly accept since it’ll increase their margins with smaller portions.
Bye bye to the Buffet, the Huge rack of ribs etc.
Knowing human nature, I can just see kids, boys, in their competitive ways....
Dude, I just ate 1800 calories worth of food, can you top that?