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Bloomberg's Soda Ban Fizzles, Judge Rules in Favor of More Big Gulps


A New York State Supreme Court judge invalidated New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's recent controversial ban on sodas and sweetened soft drinks yesterday.

The decision came from Justice Milton A. Tingling Jr. who called Bloomberg's ban on any sweetened soft drinks over 16 ounces from restaurants in the city, an "arbitrary and capricious" move.

According to the New York Times, Justice Tingling cited a "perceived inequity in the soda rules, which applies to only certain sugared drinks—beverages with a high milk content, for instance, would be exempt—and would apply only to some food establishments, like restaurants, but not others, like convenience stores."

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From the Organic Authority Files

Justice Tingling wrote in his decision: “It excludes other beverages that have significantly higher concentrations of sugar sweeteners and/or calories.” And he also noted that consumers could refill sodas and other beverages at restaurants just as long as the cup sizes were not larger than 16 ounces. He said it would “defeat and/or serve to gut the purpose the rule.”

The Bloomberg administration says it will challenge the ruling. “We plan to appeal the decision as soon as possible, and we are confident the Board of Health’s decision will ultimately be upheld,” Michael A. Cardozo, the Bloomberg administration’s chief counsel, said in a statement. Adding that the city's Board of Health has the legal authority and responsibility to tackle the causes of obesity, which affects millions of New Yorkers, including children.

New research cites sugar consumption—not obesity—as being the cause for type 2 diabetes, further supporting Bloomberg's reasoning. Other cities, including Los Angeles and Cambridge, Massachusetts have also been considering similar bans.

Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger

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