Mind the Salt: Appeals Court Temporarily Suspends New York’s Salt Labeling Law

Mar 01, 2016 07:08 AM EST | By Mark Jason Alcala

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New York's salt wars just got more interesting. An appeals court agreed to The National Restaurant Association's (NRA) request to delay the implementation on March 1 New York City's new law requiring restaurants to label menu items that are high in sodium content, according to an article by Kelsey Nash writing for Restaurant Business.

This was a close call for the NRA which has been trying to block the new regulation. Less than a week ago, NRA's lawsuit to block the high-sodium labeling was denied by a state judge, which would have meant that restaurants not able to comply by March 1 would have been slapped with a $200 fine.

NRA released a statement saying "The associated is pleased by today's decision to grant emergency relief for the men and women that own and operate New York's restaurants from this unlawful and unprecedented sodium mandate."

The controversial rule started taking effect last December 1, 2015, but restaurants were given until March 1, 2016 to comply before the penalties will be imposed according to a related article by Kelsey Nash. The rule seeks to inform customers of certain menu items that contain an entire day's worth of FDA recommended salt consumption of 2,300 milligrams, which would have to be marked with a saltshaker icon on the restaurant's menu.

Excessive salt intake has been shown to increase blood pressure and increase heart disease and stroke risk. In addition, even without the corresponding increase in blood pressure, excessive salt is known to damage the kidney, heart and aorta according to a Harvard article.

NRA is expected to fight its case in abolishing the still unimplemented salt labeling law. To its credit, the NRA has successfully fought the city government in the past when it blocked Mayor Bloomberg's soda ban, according to Chris Crowley's article in GrubStreet. Expect more interesting things to come then.

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