New York City's big sodium warning label push begins today and naturally, there's already outrage—and a looming lawsuit. The National Restaurant Association moving forward with a lawsuit against the NYC Health Department over the new measure, saying the menu additions are "yet another blow" to small businesses, reports Capital New York. The group called the new labels the "latest assault" on the restaurant community, which they say is overburdened by excessive restrictions and mandatory labeling requirements.
The National Restaurant Association has been speaking out against this measure since this summer, saying the Health Department failed to supply adequate science to back up their warning label rationale and accused to DOH of "trying to circumvent the legislative process, and set policy by creating its own set of rules regarding sodium without the benefit of a legislative mandate or even guidance."
The precedent has been set on both sides of the coin. The Bloomberg-era menu calorie counts and the trans-fat ban are not only still in practice in New York City, they've gone on to have nationwide impact. On the other side, the widely unpopular "soda ban" was challenged by big soda and ultimately lost its footing.
As Capital notes, the sodium measure doesn't limit sodium levels in food, nor does it penalize restaurants with high sodium dishes on the menu. For its part, the DOH is "confident" that they'll get the backing of the courts if the NRA moves forward with a lawsuit. Redoing menus isn't perhaps as onerous as changing the dishes entirely—and it's not like we're reading the labels anyway.