Reuters reports that a judge struck down Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s ban on large sugary drinks in New York’s food service businesses one day before it was to take effect, calling the ban arbitrary and capricious.
The regulation would have kept restaurants, bars, parks, and other food service establishments from selling surgery beverages larger than 16 ounces.
Mayor Bloomberg spoke against the judge’s decision at a press conference, saying that it was an error, and promised to continue growing obesity and its consequent health risks. “People are dying every day,” the Mayor said, “This is not a joke.”
Restaurants, beverage manufacturers, and other business groups called Bloomberg’s ban an illegal overreach that infringed on consumer’s personal liberty.
State Supreme Court Justice Milton Tingling, the ruling judge, said that not only did the restriction apply to only some – not all – food establishments in the city, it also excluded other beverages with even higher sugar content. He also expressed concern that such allowing such blanket authority by health board would “eviscerate” the separation of powers between the legislative and the executive branches of the city’s government.