Consumer groups ask the FDA to mandate nutritional information on DoorDash and other online delivery platforms

nutrition label
  • The American Heart Association and other groups are asking for nutrition labels on ordering apps.
  • The FDA says restaurants that fall under current labeling rules already list the information online.
  • DoorDash says restaurants can add the information to menus in the app.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Scientists and consumers groups sent a letter to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asking it to require that third-party online ordering services provide nutritional information.

The letter, addressed to FDA director Dr. Susan Mayne, asks the agency to extend existing rules on labeling to platforms like DoorDash, Seamless, and Uber Eats. "Guidance should make clear that both chain restaurants and TPPs (third-party platforms) are responsible for complying with the nutrition labeling requirements," the letter says.

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Current FDA labeling regulations apply to restaurants that have 20 or more locations, a spokesperson told Insider.

"FDA recognizes that the dining landscape has changed considerably since the menu labeling requirements were passed into law in 2010, especially with the rise of third-party websites and delivery apps to provide convenient options for ordering to dine at home," a spokesperson told Insider by email.

"Though many third-party online ordering websites likely would not meet the definition of a covered establishment under our current requirements, and therefore would not be subject to menu labeling requirements, we encourage third-party websites and delivery apps to provide important nutrition information for the menu items offered on their platform. "

The FDA also says that many restaurants available for online include menus with nutritional information. "We encourage consumers to look directly on the restaurant or other covered establishment's websites for nutrition information for their favorite menu items."

This isn't enough for the letter's signers, which include the American Heart Association, Consumer Reports, Center for Science in the Public Interest, and others.

"For the menu labeling requirements established under the ACA to have their intended impact, consumers must have easy access to the labeled information," the letter says. It argues that consumers need access to nutritional information at the point of ordering, and many of the benefits of labeling are lost if access involves extra steps.

DoorDash says restaurants can add nutritional information in the description field of menu items.

"We work hard to enable customers to have access to the most up-to-date and accurate menu information, which is why we provide partners on our platform with the ability to enter and edit menu information directly, including nutritional information. We welcome the opportunity to engage with policymakers and stakeholders on this and other important issues impacting our industry."

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