Published online: Mar 29, 2011
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As members of the restaurant industry eagerly await federal menu-labeling guidelines, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said the complexity of the issue is delaying the promulgation of the regulations.

The agency was scheduled to issue its proposed restaurant menu-labeling rules last week but missed its deadline. Sources say they expect the rules to be published imminently.

In a statement, the agency said:

"FDA has been working carefully to implement this new law and has received a great deal of input from a wide variety of stakeholders. Based on the comments submitted and the work thus far, FDA is acutely aware of the complexity of the new law and that both consumers and the food industry may need additional guidance and time in order to comply with these provisions."

"We expect only a short delay in getting these documents out, and it is a reflection of the complexity of this issue, but most important an indication that the FDA is willing to work with all interested parties to ensure the best policy is presented."

"We are committed to helping the public get clear and simple information about the food they buy and using a common sense approach to implement this law."