April 29, 2008
Would You Like to Supersize?
On April 16th, U.S. District Judge Richard J. Holwell upheld New York City's revised Regulation 81.50, which require restaurants to post calorie information on menus. As previously reported, Judge Holwell struck down the original regulation last September. The original regulations only applied to restaurants that already had voluntarily disclosed nutrition information to their customers. Judge Holwell concluded that the original regs were preempted by the federal Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990 because the NLEA regulated voluntary disclosure of nutrition information by restaurants.
In his latest opinion, however, Judge Holwell found that the revised regulation "is not preempted by NLEA because that statute explicitly leaves to state and local governments the power to impose mandatory nutrition labeling by restaurants." Judge Holwell also rejected a First Amendment challenge by the Restaurant Association. The New York Law Journal (via law.com) has a full report on the decision.
The new regulations took effect on Monday, April 21st, and only apply to chain restaurants with at least 15 outlets across the country. WNBC reports that the Health Department will not start fining restaurants until June 1st.
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