Main | Monday, October 15, 2012

Big Soda Sues New York City

A coalition of soft drink manufacturers has filed suit to block New York City's ban on "large sugared drinks."
The suit, filed in State Supreme Court in Manhattan, contends that the Board of Health did not have the authority to ratify the new rules unilaterally. The rules — approved last month and scheduled to take effect in March — limit the size of sugary drinks to 16 ounces or less at restaurants, street carts, and entertainment and sports venues.  Legal action was widely anticipated from the soft-drink industry, which led an aggressive campaign this summer portraying Mr. Bloomberg’s plan as an affront to consumer freedom and has frequently opposed local regulations of its products.  The 61-page filing offers a detailed rebuttal to Mr. Bloomberg, arguing the soda restrictions are a form of de facto legislation, enacted by “executive fiat,” which should have been considered by the City Council. The plaintiffs say the rules represent “a dramatic departure” from the traditional role of the health department, and they are asking a judge to reject the size limits before they are put into effect.
A spokesman for the mayor responded that due to the city's "obesity crisis" the new law is a matter of public safety. Plaintiffs joining the suit include major movie theater chains and restaurant groups.

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