Big Apple's ban on fizzy drinks falls flat but mayor plans appeal
A BAN on the sale of large fizzy drinks in New York City was overturned by a judge last night, in a dramatic ruling delivered just hours before the new law was set to take effect.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration was defeated in the New York Supreme Court by a coalition of drinks companies and industry groups, which sued the city authorities on the grounds that its ban placed an unfair burden on small businesses.
Judge Milton Tingling ruled that Mr Bloomberg's law, which was to ban the sale of sugary drinks in quantities larger than 16 ounces (480ml), was "arbitrary and capricious", and granted the coalition's request for a permanent injunction preventing the ban from taking effect.
Ruling that under the city constitution, Mr Bloomberg's administration did not have "the authority to limit or ban a legal item under the guise of 'controlling chronic disease'," Judge Tingling said it was up to New York's city council to consider such policies.
Mr Bloomberg's administration promptly signalled its intent to appeal, saying that it remained confident that it had "the legal authority and responsibility to tackle causes of the obesity epidemic, which kills 5,000 New Yorkers a year".
The coalition accused Mr Bloomberg of unjustly targeting businesses that tended to be run by ethnic minorities, by exempting convenience and grocery stores, which are regulated by New York State. (© Daily Telegraph, London)