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Businesses Sue City Over Sugary Drink Ban

October 18, 2012

A lawsuit has been filed by several business groups against the city and its ban on the sale of large-sized sugary drinks in public places such as restaurants, movie theaters and stores.

The suit was filed last Friday on behalf of small merchant associations, industry trade groups, and worker unions, stating that the Department of Health, which enacted the ban, went beyond its normal functioning of enforcing, reviewing, supervising and promoting existing laws.

The lawsuit states, in part: “The Board of Health’s decision nonetheless to ban certain sizes of sweetened beverages in certain outlets, imposed by executive fiat, usurps the role of the City Council, violating core principles of democratic government and ignoring the rights of the people of New York City to make their own choices.”

The ban went into effect in September after being proposed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg as another means in the city’s fight against the serious problem of obesity. Bloomberg stated that the city does have the authority to enact such a ban.

City Councilwoman Letitia James of District 35-Clinton Hill

The city council is not too pleased with the ban either. Several city council members, including Brooklyn Democrat Letitia James of the Clinton Hill is strongly opposed to the DOH ban on oversized sugar drinks.

“Unfortunately—but unsurprisingly—the Mayor’s proposal to ban sugary drinks over 16 ounces has been approved by the Board of Health despite the fact that 60 percent of NYC residents don’t agree with it,” James said shortly after DOH’s decision.

The ban is scheduled to go into effect on March 12 of the coming year; banning sugar drinks over 16 ounces from sale in restaurants, mobile food carts, delicatessens, movie theaters, stadiums and arenas. Violators could be subject to a $200 fine by the middle of June, 2012.

The newly opened event venue, Barclays Center, in Brooklyn, has announced that it would abide by the ban immediately.

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