Court considers restoring NYC big-soda ban - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Court considers restoring NYC big-soda ban

Posted: Updated:

By MICHAEL VIRTANEN | AP

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- New York City officials urged the state's top court on Wednesday to reinstate the city's ban on big sodas, arguing that the local Board of Health has authority to restrict products that make people obese and contribute to disease.

The 2012 ban against peddling sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces at restaurants, delis, movie theaters, stadiums and street carts was overturned by the lower courts the same month the ban was to take effect. It was pushed by then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg and since backed by Mayor Bill de Blasio.

"The largest source of added sugar in the American diet, 40 percent of added sugar comes from sugary drinks," Assistant Corporation Counsel Richard Dearing said. "They're empty calories. They don't provide nutritional value. ... They're not filling. What that means is when you consume calories from sugary drinks, you don't reduce other caloric consumption."

Several judges on the Court of Appeals questioned where the board would draw the line.

Judge Eugene Piggott Jr. asked whether triple-decker burgers would be next. Judge Victoria Graffeo questioned the limit in light of exclusions like mixed coffee drinks loaded with more than 800 calories.

The board's decision was reasonable, not arbitrary, based on science, Dearing said. He added that it isn't actually a ban, only a limit on cup size.

Restaurants, theater owners, beverage companies and small stores sued to block the restrictions. The Court of Appeals is not expected to rule on the board's request until next month.

Richard Bress, an attorney for the plaintiffs, argued Wednesday that the Board of Health lacks authority for such a policy decision and would need the City Council to first authorize it. Many council members had opposed it.

"What we didn't have was the will of the people," Bress said. "It was a first step to going over the line to tell us what portion size we can have."

According to the American Beverage Association, New York City is the only jurisdiction attempting such a restriction, though several others around the country have tried and failed to impose special taxes on sugary drinks.

"We look forward to a final resolution of this issue, as the soda ban would have a negative impact on businesses throughout the city," spokesman Chris Gindlesperger said.

New York City Health Commissioner Mary Bassett, recently appointed by de Blasio, said the link between the beverages and obesity isn't in question.

"What we do need to question is the beverage industry's continued promotion of these unhealthy products in communities most burdened by obesity and diabetes," she said. "The rule capping sugary drinks at 16 ounces is a necessary and important step toward improving the health of New Yorkers regardless of their zip code."

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Ultimate lemonade stand in Flatiron District

    Ultimate lemonade stand in Flatiron District

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 9:39 AM EDT2014-08-20 13:39:26 GMT
    When 826 NYC, a nonprofit organization that fosters creative writing skills, asked children ages 9-12 to dream up the ultimate lemonade stand, the responses were huge. The winning project of  The Great Lemonation Imagination Collaboration was turned into a real lemonade stand complete with free lemonade in Manhattan's Flatiron District. The organization's members were also required to help run the stand that went up at Broadway and 23rd Street on Wednesday.
    When 826 NYC, a nonprofit organization that fosters creative writing skills, asked children ages 9-12 to dream up the ultimate lemonade stand, the responses were huge. The winning project of  The Great Lemonation Imagination Collaboration was turned into a real lemonade stand complete with free lemonade in Manhattan's Flatiron District. The organization's members were also required to help run the stand that went up at Broadway and 23rd Street on Wednesday.
  • Times Square characters: we don't work for free

    Times Square characters: we don't work for free

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 9:02 AM EDT2014-08-20 13:02:47 GMT
    Times Square characters want to be taken seriously and want their tips. The mostly immigrant workers are now called the Association of Artists United for a Smile and are fighting to protect their jobs, in light of a recent crackdown. Jorge Duran says he stands around for hours, sweating inside a costume, and says it is annoying and unfair if he poses for a good picture and gets nothing.
    Times Square characters want to be taken seriously and want their tips. The mostly immigrant workers are now called the Association of Artists United for a Smile and are fighting to protect their jobs, in light of a recent crackdown. Jorge Duran says he stands around for hours, sweating inside a costume, and says it is annoying and unfair if he poses for a good picture and gets nothing.
  • Tyga calls for Empire State Building to go gold

    Tyga calls for Empire State Building to go gold

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 8:42 AM EDT2014-08-20 12:42:31 GMT
    The push to go gold for pediatric cancer has spread to the hip hop world. Popular rapper Tyga is joining those calling for the Empire State Building to light up for a good cause.
    The push to go gold for pediatric cancer has spread to the hip hop world. Popular rapper Tyga is joining those calling for the Empire State Building to light up for a good cause.
Powered by WorldNow

WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
485 S. Highland St.
Memphis, TN 38111

Main Station: (901) 320-1313
Newsroom: (901) 320-1340

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices