NYC's Big Gulp Ban Vote Is Today
The NYC Board of Health will vote today on Mayor Bloomberg's plan to ban the sale of large-serving soft drinks and other "sugared beverages."
The plan is expected to be approved by the Bloomberg-appointed health board and then could take effect next March. It’s unclear what the prospects are for last-minute changes before the vote. Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley has noted that the board has been reviewing the public comments. A soft-drink industry sponsored group called New Yorkers for Beverage Choices — which says it has gathered more than 250,000 signatures on petitions opposing the soda plan — is considering a lawsuit and exploring legislative options for challenging the plan if it passes, spokesman Eliot Hoff said. It’s not clear what legislative routes there may be: City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said Wednesday she’s not interested in trying to block the expected health board vote, though she has said she isn’t a fan of the soda idea.A collective of soft drink manufacturers and resellers have spent millions to oppose the ban. AMC Theaters has decked out its NYC employees in mocking t-shirts that read: "I picked out my soda ALL by myself!"
UPDATE: The ban has been approved as was expected.
Seeking to combat rising obesity rates, the New York City Board of Health approved on Thursday a ban on the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks at restaurants, street carts and movie theaters, enacting the first restriction of its kind in the country.The measure, unless blocked by a judge, will take effect in six months. The health board vote was the only regulatory approval needed to become binding in the city, but the American soft-drink industry has strongly opposed the plan and vowed this week to try to fight the measure by other means, possibly in the courts.