Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Westchester County To Vote on Menu Board Bill

Westchester County, NY is poised to vote on passage of a calorie/nutrition disclosure bill that would require chain restaurants to post calories counts on menu boards. This bill is similar to laws in New York City and California. The New York Restaurant Association unsuccessfully challenged the New York City law in court last year.

The National Restaurant Association (NRA) favors a federalized approach to menu disclosure laws. A federal statute would likely preempt tougher local and state menu laws. The bill favored by the NRA (called the LEAN Act) would permit fast food restaurants and sit down chains to put calorie and nutritional information in menu supplements or inserts, or on signs separate from the menu board.

A better bill pending in the Senate (called the MEAL Act) would make the New York City disclosure law the national standard. This battle is being fought out all over the country. Now is the time to weigh in for tougher standards.

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