A provision in the U.S. House of Representatives’ proposed 1,990-page health care legislation (H.R. 3962) requires fast-food chains with 20 or more locations and vending machine owners to conspicuously post calorie counts. Section 2572 apparently goes a step further than menu-labeling initiatives in New York City and elsewhere by also requiring information about how those calorie counts fit into recommended daily guidelines.

The provision requires that chain restaurants list the information “on the menu board including a drive-through board” and mandates that vending machine operators provide the data on “a sign in close proximity to each article of food or the selection button.”

A spokesperson for the National Restaurant Association told a news source: “We’re very pleased that the nutrition information provision continues to garner bipartisan support, and we’re pleased that the agreement is now moving forward in the House of Representatives.” See Politico, October 30, 2009; Advertising Age, November 2, 2009.

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For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.

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