Judge quashes Big Apple ban on supersize sodas
New York, March 12 : A New York state judge overturned Monday the city's ban on large sugary soft drinks, a big setback for the Big Apple's mayor, Michael Bloomberg.
"Arbitrary and capricious" is how state Supreme Court Justice Milton Tingling described the municipal regulation, which was set to take effect Tuesday.
Bloomberg's measure, the first of its kind in the US, banned the sale of soft drinks of more than 16 ounces with a high sugar content in stores regulated by the city Board of Health.
The American Beverage Association took the mayor's measure to court and created a coalition with more than 1,000 members, called New Yorkers for Beverage Choices, to collect signatures against the regulation.
The measure would have affected restaurants, fast-food chains, street vendors, stadiums, concert halls, grocery stores and liquor stores.
But New Yorkers and tourists who really had to have their supersize sodas could get them at supermarkets and convenience stores such as 7-Eleven, which are governed by state law and were therefore exempt from the city regulation.
The attack on large sugary sodas had its critics, however, and not a few now refer to the mayor as "Nanny Bloomberg" for his controversial measures to improve the health of New Yorkers.
Despite the criticism, the mayor insists that approximately 6,000 New Yorkers die every year from problems caused by obesity, which is second only to smoking as a preventable cause of death.