Supermarkets upset over new FDA rules on food labels

by OptimediaLabs on February 8, 2013

While the Food and Drug Administration wants to curb America’s obesity levels, a possible ramification of new legislation on food labels could raise prices at a majority of supermarkets. As reported by Fox News, the healthcare mandate that restaurants provide nutrition information on menus was met with positive feedback, but the outcry was far different when it came to grocery stores.

The ruling would require store owners to label prepared, unpackaged foods found in salad bars and food bars, soups and bakery items. Erik Lieberman, regulatory counsel at the Food Marketing Institute, told the news source that expensive software or off-site laboratory assessments could have to be used in order to meet new requirements.

According to the FDA, “[The information] should help consumers limit excess calorie intake and understand how the foods that they purchase at these establishments fit within their daily caloric and other nutritional needs.”

However, the FDA said that it’s taking all comments into consideration before finalizing the proposal. A final economic analysis will be included when the legislation is released in the spring.

Lieberman added that stiff penalties could fall on supermarkets that fail to comply with the requirements for custom labels. Jail time and thousands of dollars worth of fines would occur, he said, as it would be a federal crime to not make the necessary adjustments.

Grocery store owner Tom Heinen explained to Fox’s Tampa Bay affiliate that the supermarket industry’s net profit line and average has been 1 percent. With that in mind, he said that there’s no way that significant costs will not somehow get passed along to the consumer.

Even though the cost of some food and drinks might go up because of federal regulations, product makers would be wise to adhere to any such propositions. Investing in a Primera LX900 color label printer can ensure that unique and accurate printable labels are created for various foods.

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