The pending rule would force supermarkets and others to label non packaged food items. That means things from a salad bar or hot foods and even bakery goods would need labels. Grocery store owners say that would lead to a one billion dollar increases in cost to them and that has to be made up somewhere.
“Our net profit line average and has been forever is one percent” said store owner Tom Heinen.
“When you incur a significant cost there is no way that doesn’t get passed on to the customer in some form” he went on.
The proposed rule comes from an ObamaCare mandate that forced restaurants to provide nutritional information on menus.
The industry received that without much fuss but the latest raised eyebrows quickly.
“It will be burdensome at best” Heinen lamented.
And this will be one regulation store owners won’t be able to ignore. “If you get it wrong, get this, it’s a federal crime” Erik Lieberman with the Food Marketing Institute says.
“You could face jail time and thousands of dollars’ worth of fines.”
The FDA is required to complete a cost benefit analysis before they put forth new rules and regulations but Lieberman says they skipped that detail.
“They’re required to do it and they didn’t” Lieberman said in an exasperated tone.
And he has a theory as to why that step was skipped. “They simply said we can’t quantify a benefit from this rule and that’s because they really can’t” he finished.
The FDA says the new rule is likely to happen in the spring but they are still taking comments and looking into the possible backlash.
One Tulsa company you may not even know about is a huge player in the food labeling industry. See their story in the video below.