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NYC to reconsider menu labeling regs

NEW YORK Members of the New York City Council are looking to temper a measure that would force some foodservice operations to post calorie contents on their menus or menu boards as of July 1.

The labeling initiative was approved by the city's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene rather than passed by the Council. The Council is expected to consider an alternative proposal from Joel Rivera of the Bronx, a Democrat who chairs the council's Health committee. His measure would let operators post caloric information on less-prominent posters or in brochures, according to published reports. Proponents of the City Council measure also want to extend tax credits of several thousand dollars over two years to smaller restaurateurs who voluntarily post calorie data.

The menu labeling requirements were included in the ordinance passed by the Department of Health last year that banned the use of artificial trans fats in all New York restaurants. According to the Health Department ruling, restaurants already offering calorie content on the Internet, food wrappers, tray liners or in brochures will have to list the information on menus and menu boards by July 1.

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