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National Restaurant Association - Sodium mandate not a done deal … yet

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Sodium mandate not a done deal … yet

A judge granted the National Restaurant Association’s request for an emergency stay of New York City’s sodium-labeling mandate.

The Feb. 29 decision by Justice David Friedman temporarily prohibits the New York City health department from enforcing the controversial mandate, which would require chain restaurants with more than 15 stores to post salt-shaker labels next to menu items exceeding 2,300 milligrams of sodium.

Justice Friedman serves in the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court, based in Manhattan.

Enforcement of the mandate was set to begin March 1.

“The Association is pleased by today’s decision to grant emergency relief from this unlawful and unprecedented sodium mandate to the men and women who own and operate chain restaurants in New York City,” said Angelo Amador, the NRA’s regulatory counsel. “We now look forward to a full and fair opportunity to make our case before the Appellate Court.”

A panel of appellate court judges will next decide whether or not to grant the NRA’s motion for a preliminary injunction of the mandate’s enforcement, after which an actual appeal of the case will be heard.

In an hour-long hearing on Feb. 24, Manhattan Supreme Court justice Eileen Rakower ruled for the Board of Health, saying, “Knowledge is power.”

In its original, Dec. 3 filing, the NRA contended the Board of Health’s mandate was “arbitrary and capricious” and “filled with irrational exclusions and nonsensical loopholes.” It added that under New York State law only the City Council had proper authority to impose such a regulation.

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