Rumor: the White House is holding out for weak calorie labeling
I hope the rumors I’m hearing are not true.
What sources are telling me is that the White House has decided not to allow the FDA to require calorie labels in movie theaters or anywhere else where selling food is not the primary business.
If these rumors have any validity, this situation is a sad commentary on how corporate pressures are undermining Michelle Obama’s Let Move campaign.
There is no practical reason that keeps movie theaters from posting calorie labels.
It’s approaching three years since President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act, which authorizes national calorie labeling.
But the FDA still has not issued final rules, reportedly because the White House is holding them up.
The delay has left plenty of time for industry lobbying and pushback.
If the new rules exempt movie theaters and other such places, New York will not be able to continue requiring them to post the information. That would be a significant setback.
So would exempting prepared foods in chain groceries and convenience stores, as the Center for Science in the Public Interest makes clear.
If you have concerns about this issue, send a message to Mrs. Obama at the White House.
Menu labeling that covers movie theaters as well as fast-food places will help people make healthier food choices. It will also be a significant achievement of Let’s Move.
In the meantime, I’m keeping fingers crossed that the rumors are false.