Last week, the New York State Senate passed a landmark bill that requires hospitals and nursing homes to offer patients a plant-based option for every meal and snack at no additional cost to the patient.
Introduced by Senator Brad Hoylman and Assembly Member Richard Gottfried, Senate Bill S1471/A4072, requires hospitals in New York to make available plant-based meals and snacks containing no animal products or by-products. The bill also requires hospitals to list the plant-based options in all written materials and menus.
According to the New York State Department of Health, nearly 1.7 million New Yorkers have diabetes, and over 40% of all deaths in New York State are the result of heart disease. A study published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine shows that a diet lacking in fruits and vegetables is responsible for an estimated 5.6 and 7.8 million premature deaths worldwide. These results support public health recommendations to increase fruit and vegetable intake for the prevention of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and premature mortality.
This New York Senate bill follows similar legislation passed in September 2018, in California that guarantees patients a healthy plant-based option at every meal. As we reported, Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) authored Senate Bill 1138, while the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and Social Compassion in Legislation co-sponsored it. With the combination of over 12,000 physicians, PCRM is dedicated to saving and improving human, and animal lives through plant-based diets and ethical scientific research done without the use of animals.