A Cuyahoga County, Ohio, court has reportedly determined that a state law prohibiting municipalities from regulating the ingredients used in prepared foods, such as restaurant meals and grocery or bakery takeout items, does not preempt Cleveland’s ordinance prohibiting retail food establishments from selling foods containing trans fats. Cleveland announced the ban in April 2011, and several months later, Ohio’s General Assembly amended the state’s budget with a provision prohibiting municipalities from restricting the food at food service establishments “based on the food nutrition information.”
Cleveland sued the legislature in January 2012, contending that it had encroached on its home rule authority. City of Cleveland v. Ohio, No. cv-12- 772529 (Ohio Ct. Com. Pl., Cuyahoga Cnty., decided June 11, 2012). Additional information about the lawsuit appears in Issue 422 of this Update. The court apparently agreed, noting in the case docket that the amendment was unconstitutional and that the city’s enactment and enforcement of its ordinance “constitutes a proper exercise of the city’s home rule authority.” See The Wall Street Journal and Law360, June 13, 2012.