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Drink Up: Judge Blocks New York’s Large-Sugary-Drink Ban

glass of soda

Looks like you’ll be able to a large Coke in restaurants after all, following a New York State Supreme Court judge’s ruling.

Judge Milton Tingling released his decision today, announcing that New York City is  “enjoined and permanently restrained from implementing or enforcing the new regulations.” The move is a big blow to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who pushed hard for the new rules as part of his attempt to curb obesity and other public health problems.

The regulations were opposed by a coalition of business groups and unions, who joined together to sue to stop the ban’s implementation. Judge Tingling agreed with their position, calling the city’s new rules “arbitrary and capricious.” He also wrote that “the simple reading of the rule leads to the earlier acknowledged uneven enforcement even within a particular city block, much less the city as a whole … the loopholes in this rule effectively defeat the state purpose of the rule.”

This breaks a streak of wide-reaching health-conscious laws that Bloomberg had successfully pushed through, including a complete ban on smoking in bars and a ban on the use of trans fats in restaurant food. Unlike those moves, though, the large-sugary-drink ban was not very popular with voters.

The rules were set to go into effect on Tuesday, March 12, and numerous restaurants and movie theaters had already begun ordering smaller beverage containers. Bloomberg has yet to offer an official response to the judge’s ruling.


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