Mayor Michael Bloomberg is “confident” that the NYC soda ban will go on even though a judge dismissed the law on Monday. Bloomberg criticized the judge’s last-minute decision and vowed that the city will appeal the decision.
The ruling was made by State Supreme Court Justice Milton Tingling in Manhattan. Milton ruled the regulation was “arbitrary and capricious” and declared it was invalid.
Bloomberg held a press conference about the ruling on Monday evening, vowing to appeal the decision. He added, “We think the judge is totally in error in the way he interpreted the law and we’re very confident that we will win on appeal.”
Beverage manufacturers called the ban an overreach on the part of the government that would infringe on the liberty of consumers. Judge Tingling released a 37-page ruling on the NYC soda ban that agreed with special interest groups.
The ban would have prohibited food-service businesses within city limits from selling sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces. Some companies in the city, like Starbucks, planned to ignore the ban.
In his ruling, the State Supreme Court Justice stated that the ban was arbitrary because it didn’t include all sugary drinks over 16 ounces. Drinks sold at grocery stores and convenience stores were exempt. So were milk-based and alcoholic beverages at fast food restaurants, delis, sports venues, and movie theaters.
There was to be a three-month grace period for the NYC soda ban before violators would be subject to $200 fines. While companies in the area were less than thrilled with the ban, health advocates largely supported it. Sugar researcher Dr. Robert Lustig of the University of California San Francisco called the ban “a good baby step.”
J. Justin Wilson, an analyst with the Center for Consumer Freedom, doubted the ban would have much of a difference. Wilson blamed personal irresponsibility for the obesity issue in New York. He added that “it’s going to take personal responsibility, not a government takeover of our diet, to shed that weight.”
Do you think Bloomberg’s confidence that the NYC soda ban will go through is founded, or is the judge’s dismissal the right course of action?
[Image via Wikimedia Commons]