MoCo Moves Ahead On Menu Labeling
The Montgomery County Council appears on course to require most of the county's chain restaurants - from Pizza Hut to Applebee's - to list the nutritional information of food items on menus or menu display boards. The council's health committee this afternoon unanimously embraced the measure and sent it on to the full council for a vote - likely early next month.
The council resisted efforts by the restaurant industry to narrow the bill to apply only to establishments with three locations within the county's borders. There was some sympathy for the industry from Council member Roger Berliner (D-Bethesda-Potomac) who suggested an amendment that would give restaurant owners some flexibility in presenting the nutritional information.
"I'm trying to ensure that we don't overreach and build in as much flexibility without burdening business. I think you can do both," he said.
Berliner's amendment didn't get any support from fellow committee members - co-sponsors George Leventhal and Duchy Trachtenberg. But he might have better luck when he brings his suggestions to the full council.
Meanwhile, California's Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a similar measure over the weekend, calling it "impractical" and saying it "puts burdens and costs upon some restaurants owners while imposing no burdens or costs on others." Read Schwarzenegger's full veto message here.
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