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Second Court Decision Spills Bloomberg's Soda Ban

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's "soda ban," which sought to restrict certain establishments from selling soda cups larger than 16 ounces, was struck down a second time last week.

The New York Statewide Coalition of Hispanic Chambers of Commerce brought the lawsuit and the state appeals court ruled it an unconstitutional abuse of the city’s power.

Bloomberg promised to appeal.

Bloomberg proposed that restaurants, delis, fast-food chains and movie theaters not sell "sugary drinks" larger than 16 ounces - arguing it would help fight obesity and bring health costs down.

Failure to comply could have led to a $200 fine.

The city's Board of Health adopted the proposal without council approval.

The state Supreme Court’s Appellate Division determined that Bloomberg’s effort exceeded the city’s authority because it was enacted without legislative approval.

The decision affirms a ruling earlier this year by a lower court to put the policy on hold.

Nearly 80 percent of sugar-sweetened beverages are sold in supermarkets, big box stores and convenience outlets, according to Beverage Digest; these types of establishments would not be covered by the Bloomberg size limits.

The ban did not apply to pure fruit juice or fruit smoothies, drinks that are more than half milk, calorie-free diet sodas or alcoholic beverages. Milkshakes were exempt.

“Keep in mind, we're trying to save the lives of these kids,” Bloomberg said. “The state should do exactly the same thing in stores."

The argument for banning large sodas is that it will save people from themselves.

The issue is the ability of the government to dictate what we can and cannot eat or drink.

Should government decide food choices?

Should people continue to eat fatty foods while not being required by the state to exercise?

Should large orders of fries and double-meat cheeseburgers with bacon be banned?

"We cannot continue to have our kids come down with diabetes at age 6," said Bloomberg.



Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr. www.niagarafallsreporter.com

AUG 06, 2013