March 12/Washington/FDA -- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that the task of finalizing a law requiring certain establishments to print calorie counts on menus is taking the administration a longer time to finish due to complications and specific requirements. The FDA was forced to embark on this task after a 2010 Health Law stated that restaurants, vending machines, supermarkets, and other food industry businesses need to inform consumers of the amount of calories in their food. Although most restaurants have accepted this law without any complications, other establishments are fearful of the possible costs the law will recreate on their businesses and consumers. The FDA states that it hopes to finish drafting and editing the law by this spring, however, many of the businesses are still lobbying hard to be exempt from this new law.
The menu labeling law would include all restaurant chains with over 20 locations, coffee-chains, grocery stores, supermarkets, bakeries, convenience stores, and vending machines. This law would not include establishments where food is not the priority commodity, such as movie theaters, bowling alleys, and airplanes. Due to this fact, supermarkets and grocery stores have pushed the administration to exclude them from the law, stating that their primary business is not to sell cooked foods, and that the cooked food section exists secondary to the products in the store. Supermarkets and groceries have also stated that the law would cost them one billion to enforce the calorie menus in over 1,000 locations, a number that others say is exaggerated.

"There are very, very strong opinions and powerful voices both on the consumer and public health side and on the industry side, and we have worked very hard to sort of figure out what really makes sense and also what is implementable," Margaret Hamburg, FDA Commissioner told The Associated Press. "The supermarket industry is positioning itself as a place to buy prepared items so you don't have to go out to eat or cook."