Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Menu Labeling Bill Gets Media Attention

Here is a story from NewsOk.com on the Menu Labeling bill that passed the Senate yesterday.

Published: 3/10/2009 2:26 AM
Last Modified: 3/10/2009 4:38 AM

OKLAHOMA CITY — The state Senate passed a bill Monday to create a task force to determine whether restaurant menus should include calories, fat grams and other nutritional information.

Senate Bill 1135 passed 37-8. It now goes to the House.

The bill, filed by Sen. Randy Bass, D-Lawton, would create a 15-member task force to study whether putting nutritional information on the menu would help diners make healthier choices.

The task force would be made up of two members from the Senate as well as advocates from health associations and a member from the Oklahoma Restaurant Association.

"We're trying to give people the information and let them make healthier choices," Bass said.

Opponents said requiring restaurants to put nutritional information on all the food they serve could cost too much for smaller restaurants.

The Oklahoma Restaurant Association has said it could cost as much as $5,000 per menu item tested.

Bass said the association opposes the bill. Officials with the association did not return calls seeking comment Monday.

The task force would make recommendations that would be reviewed by the Legislature, Bass said. The provision could apply to restaurants that have more than 15 locations in the state. Many chain restaurants already publish nutritional information online or in pamphlets.

Oklahoma consistently has been ranked in the top 10 states for obesity.



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