As we blogged earlier today, a new beverage law for New York City was scheduled to go into effect tomorrow. But, at the last minute, a NY State Supreme Court Judge put a hold on the law.

According to Michael M. Grynbaum, writing for the New York Times: “A judge invalidated New York City’s limits on large sugary drinks on Monday, one day before they were to go into effect, dealing a significant blow to one of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s signature public-health initiatives and a marquee project of his third term. The decision by Justice Milton A. Tingling Jr. of State Supreme Court in Manhattan blocks the city from putting the rules into effect or enforcing them. Justice Tingling said the rule banning the drinks was ‘arbitrary and capricious.’ In his opinion, Justice Tingling specifically 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. ‘It applies to some but not all food establishments in the city,’ Justice Tingling wrote. ‘It excludes other beverages that have significantly higher concentrations of sugar sweeteners and/or calories.’ The judge also wrote that the fact that consumers can receive refills of sodas, as long as the cup size is not larger than 16 ounces, would ‘defeat and/or serve to gut the purpose the rule.’ The judge also appeared to be skeptical of the purview of the city’s Board of Health, which the Bloomberg administration had maintained has broad powers to seek to better the public’s health. That interpretation, the judge wrote, ‘would leave its authority to define, create, mandate and enforce limited only by its own imagination,’ and ‘create an administrative Leviathan.’”

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14 Replies to “NYC Beverage Law Overturned”

  1. I agree with Justice Tingling that this law is irrational and unreasonable. Even though soft drinks are bad for you and have a lot of sugar content I think consumers should be able to purchase any soft drink size they want. Consumers should know better that soft drinks are not the healthiest choice but they have the right to drink whatever they want. For example, McDonalds got rid of the supersize combo meal which is most likely a good thing since America is obese, however, I don’t think it makes a difference because consumers are going to eat what they want whether its healthy or unhealthy.

  2. I also agree with Eric. I think the soda ban is a direct offense to citizens’ rights. There is good intention, however, solving the problem this way is totally ineffective. Consumers are not going to change their diets because of this ban. They will still work around it and drink as much sugary drinks they want. Like it states in the article, consumers are able to refill the 16 ounce sodas which defeats the purpose of this ban all together. The Bloomberg administration should be trying other methods to better public health. It will be interesting to see what the decision will be.

  3. I like Mayor Bloomberg’s new beverage law. However, Judge Tingling does make some very interesting points. I like the law because I think that America does need to reduce our sugar intake, which is a cause of obesity. But I think that there are better, more efficient ways to go about doing that. For example, if there is going to be a law banning drinks larger than16 ounces, then there also should not be free refills. Like Judge Tingling said that defeats the purpose of eliminating larger drink sizes. I think that this is a good stepping stone to reducing America’s obesity, but it needs to be better thought out.

  4. I agree with Justice Tingling. I think banning larger sized soft drinks is unfair and offensive. The choice of whether to buy a soft drink over 16 oz should be up to the consumer. I think that banning large soft drinks but allowing free refills is completely counter productive. This would mean that the consumer could potentially drink OVER 16 oz of the soft drink. If the citizens of new york want to cut down on their soft drink intake they should do this without the Governments restrictions.

  5. When I first heard about the soda ban I thought it was a joke. I am happy to see that it is overturned. My father owns pizzerias in queens and this would’ve hurt our beverage sales.

  6. I completely agree with the NY state Sumpreme Court Justice’s decision to overturn the law on the size restriction for beverages in New York. It is a completely wasteful law. If someone wants a large drink and they can’t get it, what is stopping them from buying two? If you wanted to make a difference in public health, that was the wrong way to go.

  7. Justice Tingling definitely made the right decision. This law would be a complete breach of the public’s rights. First of all, it would be ridiculous to mandate this change in New York City while you could go anywhere else in the country and buy whatever size drink you wish. How should one city in the entire country have their eating habits and decisions regulated? New York City is one of the three World Cities. If this city has such an impact and influence on the world, shouldn’t they be capable of making their own health decisions? It’s just absolutely ridiculous that Bloomberg could think this minor change would stop people from consuming the same amount of sugar and unhealthy beverages as they did before. If they bought a large drink before they’d just buy 2 mediums now and have the same amount or more. I think it would cause more problems than it’s worth.

  8. I think that Mayor Bloomberg is doing a great job in NYC and has been in office for three terms for good reason but this law/ban is extremely unreasonable. While I understand that Bloomberg is trying to promote a more healthy lifestyle, as he’s changed the meal plans for students in New York grammar schools, placing bans on beverages to adults is a bit extreme. While Bloomberg has good intentions and I do believe that the problem of obesity should be addressed, it should be done so without an absolute ban to large beverages. To give state government so much power to completely deny a person of a beverage is extremely unreasonable and this could also lead way for other extreme bans to make way into state legislation.

  9. When I originally heard the news that Bloomberg’s campaign was overturned, I was so happy. The ban didn’t make any sense, especially when one can’t buy a large soda in McDonalds, but you can go into a 7-11 and buy that 24 oz drink. The rules made absolutely no sense, I don’t know how it was passed to begin with,

  10. I think the idea of banning a beverage size is absurd. While I think Bloomberg had the right intentions in wanting to address the issue of obesity and unhealthy eating habits in general, I think this would have made a very small dent if any. In the end, citizens are going to consume what they want when they want, and officials should focus their time and energy on more effective plans.

  11. I honestly think the idea of even trying to get this rule in to effect was ridiculous. If someone wants to be healthier, they should easily be able to decide not to drink a large drink. Even if the large beverage was banned, people would get it somehow. Also someone could easily buy something just as sugary and bad for you as the soda. It just does not make sense to me.

  12. I think that Justin Tingling is right because what is the point in “banning” soda if people are still going to be able to consume it. That is, on an extreme level, like saying cigarettes are banned but you can have them as long as you only smoke ones that have less harmful effects. Also, soda is a choice by the consumer, it may unhealthy but it has no addictive qualities to give reason for the ban.

  13. I also agree with Eric that this law is irrational because trying to intervene and change peoples habits by not offering certain choices is absurd. People should have the right to indulge in the food choices they want because they are making the conscious decision to eat it every time.

  14. I completely agree with Justice Tingling. It is not right to say that people cannot have big drinks. The size of the drink is not the problem, it is the way that people with health problems eat. I personally do not drink soda often but nevertheless I do not think that it is right to make it illegal to buy large sugary drinks. Like I said if people do not change their eating habits they will not magically loose weight and be healthy. If you cannot buy one large drink what prohibits someone from buying multiple small drinks? Instead of pushing this law more emphasis should be places on making people aware of how they eat and a better lifestyle.

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