A New York state judge on Monday threw out a ban on large sugary drinks set to go into effect in New York City on Tuesday, calling the new regulation “arbitrary and capricious.”
The new regulation—which would have limited the sale of sugary beverages including nondiet sodas, fruit drinks, sweetened teas and other high-calorie drinks to just 16 ounces—was championed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who said Tuesday that the city would immediately appeal the verdict. Bloomberg saw the ban as a way to fight the city’s growing obesity epidemic.
But the American Beverage Association and other business groups representing bars, restaurants and bodegas had sued to stop the new law, arguing, in part, that it would create an uneven playing field for businesses. The law would have been enforced only on establishments regulated by the city’s Health Department, while stores like 7-Eleven, which is regulated as a market by the state of New York, would have been exempt.
In his ruling, New York Supreme Court Justice Milton Tingling agreed with that argument, calling the new regulation “fraught with arbitrary and capricious consequences.
“The simple reading of the rule leads to the earlier acknowledged uneven enforcement even within a particular city block, much less the city as a whole,” Tingling continued. “The loopholes in this rule effectively defeat the stated purpose of the rule.”
At a news conference, Bloomberg called the judge’s ruling “clearly in error.” He likened the city’s fight against obesity by curbing “empty calories to past regulatory hurdles, including the effort to ban lead paint and the fight to save Grand Central station from demolition in the 1970s.
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What do you think about the ban? Good or bad idea?
Even though I am very much for fitness, I still think it is not a good idea. More an infringement on people’s rights, I think it would do more harm than good. People who love their large, sugary, corn-syrup filled drinks don’t want to be told they can’t do something-and I don’t think they should be forced to stop doing what they want. Let’s work the other way, and give options of other things people can drink as alternatives.
P.S.-Pop or soda?