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Judge Strikes Down NYC Sugary Drink Ban
March 11, 2013

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New York City's ban on large sugary drinks is on hold, pending an appeal in state courts.

A State Supreme Court judge has halted the ban, a day before it was to take effect, saying that the ban applied standards inconsistently. For example, the judge said, the Board of Health's plan would ban single sales of sugary drinks in sizes larger than 16 ounces but would not stop consumers from buying multiple 16-ounce size drinks. Also, the judge noted, the ban applied to some restaurants but not convenience stores.

The American Beverage Association said its industry stood to lose millions of dollars if the New York ban were to go ahead. The ban on the size of sugary drinks was considered a bit different from taxes on soda, proposals that were already under way in other large cities, like Los Angeles, and in other states.

The Department of Health had already announced a grace period for the ban. Beginning in June, restaurants and food outlets that serve non-alcoholic drinks sweetened with sugar in cups larger than 16 ounces were to have been subject to a $200 fine. (For reference, a commonly sold small-size drink at McDonald's weighs in at 16 ounces.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who had been touting the ban as a step toward helping fight obesity in children and adults, promised an appeal of the decision.

 

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