NYC menu-labeling law delayed

New York City's menu-labeling law is on delay thanks to the city's agreement with several trade organizations, including The Restaurant Law Center, the Food Marketing Institute, National Association of Convenience Stores and the New York Association of Convenience Stores.

In question is former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's initiative (New York City Health Code Section 81.50) requiring restaurant chains and c-stores with at least 20 locations to publish nutritional info on menus and menu boards. The city eventually updated its proposal to adhere to the national standards covering menu-labeling under Obama Care in 2008, which called for restaurant and c-stores to feature calorie counts and other nutritional information on their menus.

The Trump administration, however, postponed the  federal law's start date until May 7, 2018, sparking NYC to press forward with Section 81.50.

The trade organizations filed suit on July 14, 2017, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to stop New York City from enforcing the law prior to the May 2018 compliance date. The lawsuit claimed that New York's premature enforcement was preempted by federal law.

Undeterred, the city had threatened to start its own enforcement against retailers and restaurants starting Aug. 21, but the FDA had filed a Statement of Interest on Aug. 14, arguing that the city should not enforce menu labeling rules ahead of federal implementation.

The compromise

In an effort to come to terms, the trade organizations and New York City agreedFriday that the city would not seek fines or any other sanctions available in its New York City law until the May 7, 2018 deadline. In turn, the trade organizations agreed to educate and encourage their members to continue the process of coming into compliance with the law as "soon as practicable to the extent that their members are not in compliance."

"We thank New York City for working with us to come to a workable solution. We will continue to work with the FDA and Congress on behalf of the restaurant industry to ensure a uniform national menu labeling standard is put in place across the country," Angelo Amador, executive director of the Restaurant Law Center, said in a company press release. 

Topics: Food & Beverage, Health & Nutrition, Legal Issues

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