Thursday, February 7, 2013
If the Food and Drug Administration gets its way, your trip to the grocery store could get a tad pricier.
Supermarket owners argue a pending federal food-labeling rule that stems from the new health care law would overburden thousands of grocers and convenience store owners — to the tune of $1 billion in the first year alone.
Store owner Tom Heinen said the industry’s profit margins already are razor thin. “When you incur a significant cost, there is no way that that doesn’t get passed on to the customer in some form,” he said.
The rule stems from an ObamaCare mandate that restaurants provide nutrition information on menus. Most in the restaurant industry were supportive of the idea, but when the FDA decided to extend the provision to also affect thousands of supermarkets and convenience stores, the backlash was swift.
The proposed regulation 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, said testing foods for nutritional data will require either expensive software or even more costly off-site laboratory assessments.