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National Restaurant Association - Louisville council heads to menu-labeling vote

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Louisville council heads to menu-labeling vote

A Louisville, Ky., city council committee Aug. 1 unanimously approved a measure that would require restaurants that offer online nutrition information to add nutrition data to menus and menu boards as well, or post notices in the restaurant that the data is available.

The full council is expected to vote on the bill Aug. 8.

The council committee's vote came even though Congress in 2010 passed a federal law that will require certain restaurants to add certain nutrition data to menus and menu boards, and make other nutrition information available at the point of purchase. The federal law will take effect after the Food and Drug Administration issues final regulations explaining what restaurants need to do to comply. Regulations are expected later this year, with an implementation date as soon as six month after rules are issued.

The federal law applies to chains with 20 or more locations, and lets smaller restaurant companies opt in voluntarily. As approved by the council committee, the Louisville mandate would apparently apply only to restaurants either not covered by or not voluntarily complying with the federal mandate.

The Kentucky Restaurant Association opposes the local mandate and says it could be confusing. "KRA met with Louisville City Council members and communicated the importance of letting the federal law take effect," says Stacy Roof, KRA president and CEO. Some members "are convinced that this ordinance merely makes information already available via website more accessible to consumers."

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