Court considers restoring NYC big-soda ban - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

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>>

  • NYC Council bill to make kids' fast food healthier

    NYC Council bill to make kids' fast food healthier

    Thursday, August 21 2014 12:09 PM EDT2014-08-21 16:09:22 GMT
    Happy Meals might soon need to get healthier.  A New York City councilman is introducing legislation that would set stricter nutritional standards for meals served with toys.
    Happy Meals might soon need to get healthier.  A New York City councilman is introducing legislation that would set stricter nutritional standards for meals served with toys.
  • Fatal boat explosion on Long Island

    Fatal boat explosion on Long Island

    Thursday, August 21 2014 11:59 AM EDT2014-08-21 15:59:22 GMT
    Detectives from the Nassau County Homicide Squad are investigating an explosion that destroyed a boat, burned two docks, and killed the boat's owner in Manorhaven on Wednesday afternoon. Two dock workers and two boaters were gassing up a docked 33-foot Carver motor boat just after 2:45 p.m. when an explosion tore through the boat, setting it and the dock on fire, police said. Hogan was reportedly a former NYPD captain.
    Detectives from the Nassau County Homicide Squad are investigating an explosion that destroyed a boat, burned two docks, and killed the boat's owner in Manorhaven on Wednesday afternoon. Two dock workers and two boaters were gassing up a docked 33-foot Carver motor boat just after 2:45 p.m. when an explosion tore through the boat, setting it and the dock on fire, police said. Hogan was reportedly a former NYPD captain.
  • Chokehold attacker targeting victims in Central Park

    Chokehold attacker targeting victims in Central Park

    Thursday, August 21 2014 11:33 AM EDT2014-08-21 15:33:53 GMT
    The NYPD is looking for a tall, violent thug who is attacking victims in Central Park and dragging them to the ground with chokeholds.The latest attack happened about 12:40 a.m. on Wednesday. Police say the 6' 5" attacker started a conversation with a 47-year-old man in the area of 74th St. and East Drive. He then put the victim in a chokehold, dropped him to the ground and stole his bag.
    The NYPD is looking for a tall, violent thug who is attacking victims in Central Park and dragging them to the ground with chokeholds.The latest attack happened about 12:40 a.m. on Wednesday. Police say the 6' 5" attacker started a conversation with a 47-year-old man in the area of 74th St. and East Drive. He then put the victim in a chokehold, dropped him to the ground and stole his bag.
Powered by WorldNow

KTBC FOX 7
119 East 10th Street
Austin, TX 78701

Phone: (512) 476-7777
Fax: (512) 495-7001

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