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ObamaCare's Menu Labeling Regs Hike Costs and Stifle Creativity

The American Pizza Community, a coalition of the nation’s largest pizza companies, regional chains, and small franchise operators, is supporting passage of the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Ace of 2012, a bill to reform the new menu labeling regulations that have been included in ObamaCare. According to President Obama’s own Office of Management and Budget, the menu display requirements of ObamaCare rank as the third most burdensome statutory constraint enacted that year.

For the pizza industry, the new regulations require cumbersome and costly menu boards that must contain calorie information for each variety of whole pizza that is prepared in the restaurant. Ironically, however, customers of many pizza establishments will never even see the elaborate menu boards, which could cost about $5,000 per location, since most generally call in a delivery order without ever stepping foot inside the restaurant. Increased costs for menu boards are likely to be passed on to customers.

The regulations for the menu boards are so detailed that pizza shop owners must comply even with font sizes of lettering used, as dictated by the FDA. New products, changes in prices, or the addition of new pizza toppings would require the purchase of a new menu board. In addition, a proposed new product would have to be shipped to a lab for testing and certification at a cost of about $500.

Jennifer Hatcher, a senior vice president for the Food Marketing Institute, which represents 26,000 retail food stores, said, “It forces you into a central kitchen. It eliminates creativity and regional variation.”


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