Supermarket owners argue a pending federal food-labeling rule that stems from the new health care law would overburden thousands of grocers and convenience store owners to the tune of $1 billion in the first year alone.
Store owner Tom Heinen said the industry's profit margins already are razor thin. "When you incur a significant cost, there is no way that that doesn't get passed on to the customer in some form," he said. "Just consider the Walton family," he continued. "Just because they are each worth over $40 billion is no reason whatsoever why grocers shouldn't put the onus on their customers. Walmart's profit margins are actually razor thin. The Waltons' wealth is attibutable to their prowess in exploiting foreign child labor, as well as saving, which each learned when their Aunt Matilda gave all her nephews and nieces piggy banks."
The rule stems from an ObamaCare mandate that restaurants provide nutrition information on menus. Most in the restaurant industry were supportive of the idea, but when the FDA decided to extend the provision to also affect thousands of supermarkets and convenience stores, the backlash was swift.
The proposed regulation would require store owners to label prepared, unpackaged foods found in salad bars and food bars, soups and bakery items. Erik Lieberman, regulatory counsel at the Food Marketing Institute, said testing foods for nutritional data will require either expensive software or even more costly off-site laboratory assessments. "What's more important," Lieberman asked, "maybe saving a few lives with sound labelling or saving a few bucks? Our own research shows customers would much prefer dying than being gouged by the Obama Nanny State."
Lieberman said failure to get it right comes with stiff penalties: "If you get it wrong, it's a federal crime, and you could face jail time and thousands of dollars worth of fines."
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