As his final term as mayor winds down, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is not giving up on banning sugary soft drinks and sodas from New York City, even though soda manufacturers and the state’s courts don’t seem to agree with the proposed citywide ban.
After Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed ban on sodas passed through his Board of Health in March, New York’s Supreme Court Justice, Milton Tingling, struck it down, calling it “arbitrary and capricious.” Tingling ruled that the bill had loopholes and exemptions. And a state appeals court has made the same decision, reports Food Safety News. “In a 4-0 decision, the appeals court said Bloomberg’s handpicked Board of Health had overstepped its power in adopting the soda ban. The appeals court said the Board of Health’s ruling was more like a legislative or city council decision than one involving a health issue.”
The intended ban was on sugary soft drinks and sodas larger than 16 ounces sold through restaurants and other food service locations in the city in an attempt to curb the rising cases of obesity and diabetes.
Bloomberg’s focus was particularly on the city’s children, who are easy targets for the soft drinks, even though schools no longer sell them. But the judges disagree. According to Food Safety News, Appellate Justice Dianne Renwick wrote for the court “The Board of Health overstepped the boundaries of its lawfully delegated authority when it promulgated the [ban] to curtail the consumption of soda drinks,” noting that therefore, it “violated the state principle of separation.”
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