NEW YORK CITY COUNCIL VOIDS CLEAR MEAT PACKAGING LAW

NEW YORK -- Retailers here will no longer have to package meat in 100% clear plastic containers, which should save them millions each year under a bill that was approved by the New York City Council earlier this month.s for the New York State Food Merchants Association here.The bill will take effect as soon as it is signed by New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, which the association estimated would occur

NEW YORK -- Retailers here will no longer have to package meat in 100% clear plastic containers, which should save them millions each year under a bill that was approved by the New York City Council earlier this month.

s for the New York State Food Merchants Association here.

The bill will take effect as soon as it is signed by New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, which the association estimated would occur soon, Brodhagen said.

Under the new law, packaged meat need only be visible on the side with the greatest surface area -- which, in practical terms, is the top, said Brodhagen.

The association estimated New York City retailers will save $5 million to $8 million on packaging costs as a result of being able to use foam trays. Clear packaging costs two to three times as much as foam, Brodhagen said.

There was also limited competition among manufacturers, since New York City was the only area in the Northeast that required clear packaging, she said. The vote passed the city council with 45 in favor, three opposed and one abstention.