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First Amendment

New York’s Second Effort to Require Fast-Food Calorie Listings Is Upheld

Posted Apr 17, 2008 7:26 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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New York City has revised its fast-food calorie posting rules to the satisfaction of a federal judge.

The new regulations upheld yesterday require calorie counts to be posted next to prices in any restaurant chain with more than 15 outlets nationwide, the New York Times reports. U.S. District Judge Richard Holwell of Manhattan said the rules do not violate the restaurants’ First Amendment rights.

The regulations are reasonably related to the government’s interest in providing consumers with nutritional information, the judge said. He also held the regulations are not pre-empted by the federal Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990, the New York Law Journal reports.

The New York State Restaurant Association plans an appeal.

Last September Holwell had struck down New York’s rules because they applied only to restaurants that had voluntarily disclosed calorie information. He suggested the city could require the information to be posted if it first required restaurants to disclose it. He did not rule on First Amendment arguments at the time, saying he didn’t need to reach that question.

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