Restaurant ownership groups take NYC to court over menu labeling
Four restaurant ownership groups filed suit today in the New York state court system to halt New York City’s efforts to enforce menu labeling requirements, claiming that restaurants, convenience stores and related businesses need more time to comply with the rules.
Similar restaurant ownership groups recently succeeded in getting the FDA to delay the implementation of federal menu labeling requirements published three years ago. Those rules, which were to have taken effect on May 5 will now be enforced as of May 7, 2018.
A news release sent out by the Restaurant Law Center of the National Restaurant Association said the four plaintiff groups filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Jointly, the Food Marketing Institute, National Association of Convenience Stores, New York Association of Convenience Stores and the Restaurant Law Center claim that New York City is "prematurely enforcing rules requiring calorie and nutrient information" after the FDA recently pushed back the compliance date for the federal regulation. the delay came about after intensive lobbying done largely by grocery and convenience store ownership organizations.
The lawsuit claims that enforcement of labeling laws in New York is legally “preempted by federal law." The groups say they have issues with the law’s implementation and want the federal government to consider amendments to currently written rules to reduce the cost of implementation and ongoing compliance.
"Federal preemption for menu labeling is the law of the land. New York City is overstepping its legal authority in its attempt to enforce menu labeling ahead of the federal compliance date of May 7, 2018," RLC Executive Director Angelo Amador said in the release. "We expect our preliminary injunction request will be granted to this clear violation of federal law."
The plaintiffs asked the court to enter an injunction to stop New York City from from enforcing its rules until federal rules "are ready." New York City has said it will begin compliance enforcement on Aug. 21. This site has asked New York City leaders for their take on the filing today and will report any response when it is received.