Say what you will about New York City health czar Thomas Frieden, but the guy’s nothing if not persistent. Last month, the Big Apple’s menu labeling law — a first-in-the-nation food cop coup spearheaded by Frieden — was struck down by a federal judge on account of a technical snag. Since then, Frieden and his food cop friends have worked tirelessly to retool the regulation to fit with federal law, and last week they re-introduced a new and "improved" bill to the city’s Board of Health.
This time around, all restaurants with 15 or more outlets — not just the ones that already provide nutritional information, as was the case in the previous version of the law — will be required to display calorie counts on their menus and menu boards. If all goes according to plan, the bill will pass in January and go into effect as early as March.
How is Frieden going to sell an intrusive and unnecessary menu labeling requirement to the good people of New York City? Why, with blatant falsehoods, of course! Here’s Frieden in last Thursday’s New York Times:
The big picture is that New Yorkers don’t have access to calorie information.
What? They do have easy access to the nutritional profiles of most of their meals — on tray liners, online calorie calculators, and in-store displays, just to name a few places.