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Albany County Legislature passes calorie labeling law

Minority Leader Christine Benedict, R-Colonie, said Tuesday, Aug. 11, that she voted against the law because she thought government was interfering too much with residents' lives.

"I just had heard enough. How much government involvement do we want in everybody's lives around here?" she said.

Benedict said she doesn't believe it's the Legislature's role to regulate what people eat.

"We're not elected to make restaurants put calories on menus," she said. "What are we elected for? To fight the crime on fat? I don't think so."

Richard Mendick, R-Selkirk, said he was in favor of the law, but said he would have liked to see the bill require restaurants to not only list the calories on the menus, but also sodium, fats, carbohydrates and other nutritional information as well.

"You need all of those pieces of information," he said.

Nichols, the sponsor of the law, said he has not ruled out working on laws in the future that would cover more than just the calories, but for now, the best way to help the growing obesity problem is through calories.

"The single most important information is the calorie information," Nichols said.

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