Court Upholds Restaurant Salt Warning Rule

Court upholds rule requiring warning about menu items exceeding daily recommended sodium limit
Court upholds rule requiring warning about menu items exceeding daily recommended sodium limit

HealthDay News — An Empire State appeals court has upheld the New York City health department rule that requires restaurants to warn customers about menu items that exceed the 2,300mg daily recommended sodium limit, according to a report from the American Medical Association (AMA).

The National Restaurant Association argued that the regulation violated the principle of separation of powers and the First Amendment, and was arbitrary and capricious, preempted by federal law on food labeling. However, these arguments were rejected by the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York. 

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In an amicus brief filed with the court, 12 organizations, as well as the AMA and American Heart Association, supported the view that the federal government-recommended daily limit on sodium is appropriate. The brief cited data showing that excess sodium consumption is associated with increased risk for individuals aged older than 51 years, and for those with hypertension, diabetes, or kidney disease. In addition to providing consumers with nutrition information on menus and menu boards, the AMA urges restaurants to improve the nutritional quality of their menus.

"Salt is both an essential ingredient of our diet and, when consumed in excess, a significant health hazard," Associate Justice Ellen Gesmer said in the opening of a unanimous opinion.

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