Trump administration moves ahead with Obama menu-label law

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WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is moving ahead with Obama-era requirements to post calorie counts in restaurants, supermarkets, convenience stores and pizza delivery chains nationwide next year.

Despite years of opposition by some food sellers, the Food and Drug Administration is offering only minor compromises to industry complaints about the difficulties of displaying calories at takeout chains, self-service buffets and other food locations.

The FDA posted a preliminary guidance online Tuesday to help businesses comply with the law.

Trump appointees have delayed or upended regulations passed by the Obama administration including rules for water pollution, fuel emissions and policing for-profit universities. But the menu labeling rules, championed by former first lady Michelle Obama, appear on track to take effect in May after years of delays.

Behind the law is the idea that people may think twice about buying their daily doughnut at the gas station if they see how many calories it contains.

“When you arm consumers with reliable information, they are going to make better decisions, smarter and more informed decisions about their diet,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said.

The FDA rejected requests from pizza chains, including Domino’s Pizza, which wanted to post calorie information only on their websites, arguing that most customers don’t visit their physical locations. However, the agency said stores have a variety of options for displaying calorie counts beyond traditional menu boards, including electronic kiosks, tablet devices and even paper menus.