That didn’t take long. The National Restaurant Association, a lobbying group representing the industry as a whole, plans to sue New York City’s Department of Health over a new rule, set to take effect tomorrow, that requires restaurants with 15 or more locations nationwide to mark items that have at least 2,300 milligrams of salt with a cautionary emblem. An NRA spokesperson tells Politico New York that while the Board of Health says this new rule is aimed at corporate chains, it’s really an attack on small businesses and the “latest assault which goes too far, too fast for New York’s restaurant community.” While the logo looks alarmist, the rule doesn’t dictate a maximum salt content for foods.
The DOH, for its part, says that New Yorkers suffer serious health issues from consuming too much salt and that this stamp is an easy way to educate them. It’s worth noting that the NRA, which filed a petition in October that challenged the New York minimum-wage hike for fast-food workers, has come out victorious in past squabbles with the DOH, as when it successfully sued to block the soda ban. A New York State Court of Appeals argued that the board was overreaching its authority, and the NRA says that in the case of these salt warnings, the body is similarly “acting beyond the scope of its limited authority.”