Label This: Regulatory Caucus Briefs on Menu Labeling Requirement
The bipartisan caucus, which held its first briefing today, was formed by Reps. Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif., and Tim Scott, R-S.C.
"This caucus will give us an opportunity to bring common sense back to the regulatory process, and to the extent that we can find ways to reduce the burden on business, we believe they will be more profitable, and when they become more profitable, they hire more people," Scott said.
Rep. John Carter, R-Texas, introduced H.R. 6174, the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act of 2012, which was referred last week to the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Scott and representatives from the restaurant, grocery and convenience store industry are pushing for the act's passage, which would exempt places that make less than half of their revenue from hot food sales and grant delivery restaurants flexibility in having to put up a menu board, among other changes.
Melissa Cummings of Domino's Pizza and the America Pizza Community said pizza places differ from other establishments since the vast majority of their customers order remotely, and criticized the FDA regulation as placing a "heavy burden on pizza store owners to place menu boards in their stores, that the majority of their customers would never even seen." She estimated the cost to franchisees at about $4,000 a year.
"This cost could be the difference between breaking even or posting a loss, or the decision to hire their next employee," she said, adding that the company already posts nutrition information on its website.
In breaking down why he doesn't think the menu labeling should apply to establishments like pizza places, Scott also divulged that his own eating habits seem to be of the ignorance-is- bliss mindset.
"Here's what happens, when you go into your Domino's place to pick up your pizza, and you've called on the phone or ordered online, you don't go in there looking at the calorie count. I don't want to know! I don't want to know how many calories are on my pizza," Scott said. "And if I order on the phone or through the computer, guess what, I won't know, unless I look it up."
There was also a representative from Dunkin' Donuts at the briefing, to whom Scott said, "I had five of your powdered donuts the other day, and I did not look at the calorie count."
No donuts were spotted at the briefing.
Photo: Melvin L. Jacobs, Sr. picks up his order at a Domino's Pizza in Hartford, Conn., Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2006. (AP Photo/Bob Child)
This post has been updated. It initially stated Rep. Tim Scott is a member from Florida. He is of South Carolina.