New York Business Owners Sue to Keep Selling Huge Drinks

Soda Ban, New York City, Bloomberg

A group of New York City business owners say the city’s Board of Health didn’t have the authority to approve a ban of super-sized sugary drinks, and filed a lawsuit Friday to stop the ban.

Soda Ban, New York City, BloombergThe American Beverage Association and several other business and trade associations say the health board overstepped its power, and only has the authority to enforce policy, not enact it.

The lawsuit also says the new regulation is “arbitrary and capricious,” and hurts thousands of small businesses. It also claims the new rule is full of irrational loopholes and exclusions.

The ban outlaws drinks larger than 16 ounces at restaurants and food carts, or any other establishment getting letter grades for food service. It doesn’t apply to grocery stores, though. The ban won’t go into effect until March.

There are several prominent businesses opposing the ban. Critics such as McDonald’s and Coco-Cola call the ban “misguided” and “arbitrary,” but Mayor Michael Bloomberg endorsed it as a health and fiscal initiative, so he’d rather not see people sucking on huge cups of soda, either.

The mayor pointed overweight people cost the city an estimated $4 billion a year for medical care. And one out of every eight New Yorkers are diabetic, a disease liked to obesity.