Two leading industry groups have filed suit against New York City, claiming the city is prematurely enforcing federal rules governing calorie and nutrient labels for foods.
The Food Marketing Institute and the National Association of Convenience Stores, along with the New York Association of Convenience Stores and the Restaurant Law Center, filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to stop New York City from enforcing U.S. Food and Drug Administration rules that don’t go into effect until May 2018.
A rule requiring restaurants to put calorie counts on menus was initially set to go into effect in 2014, but industry concerns over implementation and costs have delayed it. In their complaint, the four organizations argue that New York City cannot supersede federal law. The city has threatened to begin fining non-compliant retailers and restaurants on Aug. 21.
“The federal law preempts a municipality from taking matters into its own hands, and this is exactly what New York City is attempting to do,” Jennifer Hatcher, FMI’s chief public policy officer, said in a news release. “New York City’s actions threaten interstate commerce and would introduce unneeded elements of confusion into the food retail marketplace.”