With McDonald’s announcing it will post calorie counts nationwide ahead of implementation of the menu labeling requirement in the Affordable Care Act and New York City passing a ban on large sugary drinks, IFA President and CEO appeared on Neil Cavuto last night to discuss why now is not a good time to be focusing on Big Macs and sugar as the problem. With 23 million people unemployed, underemployerdd or given-up looking for work, Caldeira says lawmakers are deflecting from the real issue we should be addressing–jobs. “We have to take the focus back to jobs and the economy,” he said.
Caldeira states that Mayor Bloomberg, “did not consult with the franchise or restaurant industry or his NYC residents where 60% oppose the ban.” The New York City Board of Health, Bloomberg himself, in a vote Sept. 13, approved the ban on sugary beverages in all New York City restaurants, including franchises. IFA has opposed the ban as part of the New Yorkers for Beverage Choices Coalition, led by the American Beverage Association, the New York Restaurant Association and hundreds of New York state businesses, including many IFA members. More information about the ban’s passage is available in this Nation’s Restaurant News article.
On menu labeling, Caldeira praised McDonald’s for getting out in front of the mandated implementation of these requirements, which is widely-anticipated to come after the election. “We were faced with a patchwork quilt of regulations being promulgated around so we had two options. First we could deal with that, or we could push for federal and national standards to provide more consistency for our franchisees,” said Caldeira. “That is the route that we chose to go. McDonald’s is an industry leader and we remember that prior to the health care law being passed, cities such as New York and Philadelphia passed laws regarding menu labeling. You will see more companies follow McDonald’s. They will also try to get out early from an implementation standpoint.”
Click here to view the full interview on IFA’s YouTube page*.
*The rights to this video file were purchased by IFA.