A state judge has ruled to put a stop to the controversial soda ban that was slated to go into effect tomorrow. In short, the judge said that there are too many loopholes and that if you don’t prevent refills for example, then you’re pretty much enforcing a worthless judgement.
Judge Milton Tingling called the soda ban “arbitrary and capricious” in a 36 page order. Passed in September, the law “would not only violate the separation of powers doctrine, it would eviscerate it. Such an evisceration has the potential to be more troubling than sugar sweetened beverages,” he said.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office vowed on Twitter to defend the law. “We plan to appeal the sugary drinks decision as soon as possible, and we are confident the measure will ultimately be upheld,” the tweet from City Hall said.
“Without a portion cap on sugary drinks, it would be harder to tackle an obesity epidemic that kills more New Yorkers than anything other than smoking and causes misery for many thousands more who suffer from heart disease, diabetes and other debilitating illnesses,” New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said in a statement. “Sugary drinks are a leading cause of this epidemic. Today’s decision threatens the health of New Yorkers, but we are confident that we will win on appeal.”
The ban would not apply to alcoholic beverages, among other exemptions, but it does include energy drinks and fruit smoothies in addition to soda.
The judge made the call during his review of a pending lawsuit against the ban filed by a group called Statewide Coalition, which represents the beverage industry, restaurants and other businesses. In its complaint the group argues that the ban includes too many loopholes — refills are still allowed, for example — and questions the science behind it.
New Yorkers are divided on the new ban. A Quinnipiac University poll last week found 51 percent opposed and 46 percent in favor.
The ban would have the biggest impact on children and teenagers, said Dr. Holly Lofton, director of a medical weight management program at New York University’s Langone Medical Center. Kids often use lunch money to buy massive cups and bottles of soda, not realizing or perhaps caring about the fact that large servings aren’t suited to children’s bodies, she said.
“Kids are gaining more weight from sugary beverages than food,” she said. “It’s scary, very scary.”
Source: ABC News