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Jun 08

Legislature to Require Hospitals to Have Vegan Meals Passed by New York Legislature

A legislative proposal to legally require all hospital to have vegan food options has been passed by New York’s legislature.

Senate Bill 1471 passed both the House of Representatives and Senate on Monday, sending it to Governor Andrew Cuomo for final consideration.

According to its official text, the measure “requires hospitals providing inpatient or residential care (i.e., general hospitals and nursing homes) to offer patients a plant-based food option for every meal or snack, at the request of a patient or patient’s lawful representative, at no addi- tional cost to the patient.” This “shall be effective for every meal or snack the patient is reasonably expected to participate in.”

The bill does not preclude hospitals from offering plant-based food options to patients who do not request them, and it does not preclude patients who have requested a plant-based food option from selecting non-plant-based food options.

This act “shall take effect one year after it shall have become a law.” Effective immediately, “the commissioner of health may make regu- lations and take other actions reasonably necessary to implement this act on that date.”

In its “Justification” section, the measure’s summary states:

Plant-based diets (PBD) are those free of animal products such as meat, seafood, dairy, and eggs. In 2017, the American Medical Association adopted a resolution that calls on hospitals to improve patient health by “providing a variety of healthful food, including plant-based meals” (Healthy Food Options in Hospitals H-150.949). Doctors may recommend or order PBD for patients suffering from heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and other conditions, and patients may choose PBD for a variety of other reasons. Patients in inpatient or residential health care settings are a “captive audience” dependent on the institution for their food. This bill will ensure that patients in inpatient or residential hospital settings have access to plant-based food options.

For the full text of Senate Bill 1471, click here.

About the author The Vegan Herald

The Vegan Herald, launched in 2015, is a vegan news and information website.

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