The National Restaurant Association (NRA) supports the bipartisan Labeling Education and Nutrition (LEAN) Act introduced to the U.S. Senate by Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and to the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah) and Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) to create a national, uniform standard for providing consumers with nutrition information in U.S. chain restaurants. NRA executive vice president of public affairs Beth Johnson issued the following statement on March 11:

"We commend the bipartisan leadership of Senators Tom Carper and Lisa Murkowski and Representatives Jim Matheson and Fred Upton on this important legislation, and we believe the LEAN Act provides a very constructive and effective approach on the availability of nutrition information. Consumers deserve access to the same nutrition information no matter where they are across the country. The National Restaurant Association strongly supports the legislation’s goal to replace a patchwork of inconsistent state and local ordinances with a national standard for chain restaurants that empowers consumers to make the choices that are best for them and their families.

"The foodservice industry and lawmakers can best help patrons make smart food choices by working together to establish a uniform standard that will offer a broad range of detailed nutrition information in chain restaurants. The LEAN Act does just that and is a very positive step forward for consumers and restaurants."

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Pennant Foods, a provider of specialty bakery products and solutions to the foodservice and retail industry, will purchase a portion of General Mills Bakeries and Foodservice frozen bread dough business. The sale includes four manufacturing facilities in Bakersfield, Calif.; Hazleton, Pa.; Montreal, Quebec; and Vinita, Okla.

The acquisition will increase Pennant's production capacity for some of its core focus product lines. Pennant is part of the Fresh Start Bakeries Family of Companies, which operates more than 25 bakeries worldwide.

"The addition of these capabilities will greatly enhance Pennant's ability to serve the growing needs of our key customers, as well as open new markets to the company," said Jim Clough, president of Pennant, in a statement.