The fight over Bloomberg’s soda ban has grown more heated, after beverage companies filed a lawsuit against the legislation on Friday. Though the ban won’t be put into effect until March, the beverage industry hopes to forestall or even halt entirely the ban through the new lawsuit, filed in tandem with 11 organizations looking to condemn the regulation.
The beverage companies are not arguing over the bill itself, but rather the procedure through which Bloomberg is attempting to pass the bill. Their issue is with the Board of Health, the organization that passed the ban, which they believe does not have the power to do so. Instead, they insist that the ban should not be in effect unless it is passed through by City Council, which would be much more difficult task for Bloomberg. Their main defense lies in many of Bloomberg’s previous health initiatives, such as the smoking ban in restaurants, which were passed not through the Board of Health but through the City Council.
Bloomberg’s team, of course, adamantly supports the authority of the Board of Health in passing this legislation. A spokesperson for Bloomberg said, “The Board of Health absolutely has the authority to regulate matters affecting health, and the obesity crisis killing nearly 6,000 New Yorkers a year — and impacting the lives of thousands more — unquestionably falls under its purview.”
As the battle advances, we somehow feel like this won’t be the last we hear from either party.