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CSPI Opposes Bill to Exempt Supermarkets, Convenience Stores from Calorie Disclosures

Statement of CSPI Nutrition Policy Director Margo G. Wootan

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Congress should not hand out special-interest political favors to supermarkets, convenience stores, or pizza chains—all of which are lobbying for special treatment that would let them hide from consumers the calorie counts for their restaurant-type foods.

The cynically named Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act supports neither common sense nor nutrition disclosure. Congress has already passed, and the Food and Drug Administration has finalized, rules that require all retail food service companies to list calories on menus, menu boards, and for foods on display. The fact is, many supermarkets are increasingly like restaurants, with salad bars, buffets, made-to-order sandwiches, and seating areas. 7-Eleven, Wawa, and Sheetz are among the top 100 chain food-service establishments. Convenience stores are now trying to persuade Congress how they’re different from restaurants, but some even belong to the National Restaurant Association.

Even less deserving of special favoritism is the chain pizza industry. Pizza is the fifth-largest source of calories, third-biggest source of sodium, and second-highest source of saturated fat for American adults and children. Pizza is no less variable than Subway or Chipotle, and chains can express calories for commonly ordered items as prepared, or in reasonable ranges. 

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Contact Jeff Cronin (jcronin[at]cspinet.org) or Ariana Stone (astone[at]cspinet.org).