Beverage industry to fight New York soda ban in US courts15 October 2012
A coalition of businesses and trade groups that includes the American Beverage Association have filed a lawsuit against New York City’s controversial decision to back a ban on the sale of large, sugary sodas in restaurants and other public venues.
The plaintiffs argue that the City’s Board of Health, which voted in favour of the ban by eight votes to zero in September, does not have the authority to regulate the size of drink servings. Opponents of the ban say that decision lies with the City Council of New York.
"This case is not about obesity in New York City or the motives of the Board of Health in adopting the rule being challenged. This case is about the Board of Health, appointed by the mayor, bypassing the proper legislative process for governing the city," said a statement by the plaintiffs.
The coalition, which additionally includes Teamsters Local 812, National Association of Theatre Owners of New York State and the National Restaurant Association, claim that the ban is “arbitrary and capricious," in focusing on only some businesses and types of beverages. The organisations want New York’s State Supreme Court to block the proposed legislation before it takes effect in March.
Marc LaVorgna, Mayor Michael Bloomberg's chief spokesman said the "predictable, yet baseless" lawsuit will sharpen the focus on the US obesity epidemic, which kills 6,000 people in New York each year.
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