Aug. 16, 2017

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is on a mission to stop the New York City law requiring nutritional disclosures on restaurant menus from taking effect on Monday as scheduled. The FDA has filed a request with the courts to put the law on hold until a lawsuit challenging the local law can be heard later next week. That case, filed last month by a group representing restaurants and c-stores, begins next Wednesday, two days after the law would already be in place, according to the New York Times. 

The case takes on former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's initiative to promote healthier eating and fight obesity in his jurisdiction.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 info on their menus. The Trump administration, however, postponed the federal law's start date until next year.    

But the backers of New York City's long-delayed law opted to go ahead with their calorie disclosure regulations for the city this month, which has sparked the trade groups' latest challenge. Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Joon H. Kim filed a "statement of interest" on Monday to support the trade groups' stance on the matter. That triggered New York City Health Commissioner Mary T. Bassett to issue her own statement, according to the Times.  

"The F.D.A. has taken the position that chains can stop providing customers with critical nutrition information. … Poor nutrition is fueling an epidemic of chronic diseases, and this basic information should be accessible and transparent to all."

The FDA emailed this statement to the New York Times saying it "believes that equipping consumers with clear and consistent information is important for helping them make informed decisions about the food they eat."

As a result, The FDA supports going ahead with the federal regulation implementation postponed until May 2018. 

 


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