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New York's Salt Warnings Are Here to Stay, Judge Says

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A judge ruled in favor of the city in a restaurant group's lawsuit against the salt labels.

Chain restaurants will have to label high sodium items with this salt label.
Chain restaurants will have to label high sodium items with this salt label.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images/Department of Health

Salt warnings on high sodium chain restaurant menu items are here to stay, a judge ruled Wednesday, according to Reuters. A city law requiring chains to add a salt shaker label next to items with more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium went into effect last December, and the National Restaurant Association promptly sued the city Department of Health over the new regulation. But a judge ruled in favor of the city on Wednesday, saying that the law didn't limit the amount of sodium restaurants actually use like the rejected Bloomberg soda law did. "Information is power," Justice Eileen Rakower said from the bench.

New York implemented the rule hoping that the salt shaker label would help lower sodium intake, and in turn, lower high blood pressure and heart disease rates. The labels impact about 10 percent of menu items in the city. The NRA has argued that it's an arbitrary law that unfairly targets restaurant owners. Starting next month, restaurants that violate the rule will be fined $200. The group, a trade organization representing more than 500,000 restaurants, says it plans to appeal the judge's decision. "It's just enough information to cause consumers to be confused and ill-informed," the NRA's attorney says.

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