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The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground. —THOMAS JEFFERSON, 1788

Grocers could face jail time for mislabeling food under Obamacare

“Ayup! I remember a time when supermarkets had bakeries where you could buy cakes and fresh-baked rolls. Oh, and stores had delis with prepared foods that you could take home and reheat. But that was way back in ‘ought 15.’”

That future nostalgic stroll down memory lane is courtesy not of Pepperidge Farm but of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Under stringent labeling guidelines imposed by Obamacare, in-store bakeries, delis, and other sections that purvey ready-to-eat comestibles will likely become a thing of the past.

FOX News notes that grocers and convenience store owners will now join restaurants in the requirement that they provide nutrition information on labels of fresh-made food. And the “Nutrition Facts” had better be accurate — or else. Getting it wrong, says Erik Lieberman, regulatory counsel at the Food Marketing Institute, is a federal crime under a provision of the health care law. Violators could face jail time and thousands of dollars in fines.

But don’t cry for your grocer. With industry profit margins already razor-thin and the cost of nutritional analyses an added burden, most food retailers will simply eliminate the unpackaged foods found in salad bars and food bars. In cases where these convenience foods are retained, the cost will be adjusted upward to reflect the new out-of-pocket burden.

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Howard Portnoy has written for HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.

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