Federal Register

Big Government at it again: FDA proposes two sweeping “calorie count” labeling rules

Calorie Count Requirements

Two proposed rules from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this morning could radically increase the number of locations that are required to post calorie counts next to food items. Language that was snuck into Obamacare by Democrat Senator Tom Harkin (IA) and Representative Rosa DeLauro (CT) mandates expanded labeling that could reach as far and wide as vending machines, grocery stores, and even more restaurants.

POLITICO reports:

Restaurant chains will soon have to post calories for every dish of chicken Alfredo, every cheeseburger combo, every margarita and most every other item on the menu thanks to new rules from the FDA expected Tuesday.

The two long-delayed and far-reaching regulations will cover foods served at chain restaurants, grocery stores, vending machines and even movie theaters.

But this piece of President Barack Obama’s legacy on food policy won’t take effect without a fight.

Big chain restaurants are on board: They pushed for a national standard to override a patchwork of state and local menu labeling rules. McDonald’s adopted its own nationwide labeling in 2012. But grocery store and convenience store chains, the likes of Whole Foods, Sheetz and 7-Eleven, are expected to put up a fight about slapping calories next to their kale salad, nachos and Big Gulps. Movie theaters and the alcohol industry are also expected to fiercely protest being included in the mandate.

Imperial presidency: Obama threatens executive action on economy

As part of his ongoing effort to change the narrative in the media, President Barack Obama told reporters yesterday that his administration will resort to executive action to enact parts of his economic agenda if Republicans won’t play along:

With two weeks left before delivering an economy-focused State of the Union address to Congress, Obama is picking up the pace of his jobs message and demonstrating how he can advance his economic agenda administratively and through his ability to coax action from important interest groups.

“We’re not just going to be waiting for legislation in order to make sure that we’re providing Americans the kind of help they need,” Obama said Tuesday as he convened his first Cabinet meeting of the year. He said he would instruct his department heads to “use all the tools available to us” to assist the middle class.
[…]
Obama’s reliance on his executive powers and his bully pulpit — at the White House it’s called his “pen-and-phone” strategy — illustrates the means at his disposal to drive policy but also highlights the limits of his ability to work with Congress.

Only through legislation can Obama obtain some of the most ambitious items on his economic agenda — from a higher minimum wage to universal preschool to an overhaul of immigration laws, three items in his 2013 State of the Union that will make a return appearance in this year’s address.

As long as Republicans in Congress are unreceptive to his legislative priorities, he will have to settle for more incremental and narrower solutions that don’t necessarily have the staying power and the force of law.


The views and opinions expressed by individual authors are not necessarily those of other authors, advertisers, developers or editors at United Liberty.