June 12 (Reuters) - An Ohio judge has struck down a law
designed to block Cleveland's ban on restaurants using cooking
oils that contain trans fats, handing the city a victory in its
food fight with state lawmakers.
Cleveland went to court to challenge the state law passed
last year. In a ruling issued on Monday, Cuyahoga County Judge
Nancy Russo found that the state law was an improper attempt to
stop the city from exercising its home rule powers under the
The battle in Ohio comes amid heightened attention on steps
being taken by local U.S. governments trying to fight obesity.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg last month proposed a ban
on large-size sugary soft drinks in his city, provoking outrage
by the beverage industry.
Many commercial fried foods like doughnuts and french fries
and baked goods like crackers, cookies and cakes contain trans
Last year, the city of Cleveland banned foods containing
industrially produced trans fat from being used in preparation
of any menu item or served in any food shop - except food being
served directly to customers in a sealed package.
Soon after, the Ohio legislature passed a law pre-empting
local governments from restricting food service operations based
on nutrition information.
A handful of other states, including Arizona, have
prohibited local governments from regulating food marketing,
including incentives like toys.
The case in the Court of Common Pleas, Cuyahoga County is
City of Cleveland vs. State of Ohio, CV-12-772529.
(Reporting by Dan Levine)
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