The Short-Lived Life of the New York City Soda Ban
Although a judge may have shut down the New York City soda ban that was to go into effect today, it may not be time to write "RIP" on the soda ban's tombstone just yet. While some claimed victory — mainly, the beverage industry — Mayor Bloomberg has sworn to come back fighting. In a press conference on Monday, Bloomberg told the crowd that he and his office would appeal the decision."… We think the judge is totally in error in the way he interpreted the law," Bloomberg was quoted as saying.
Of course, it may not be so simple for Bloomberg. The soda ban, opposed by as many as 60 percent of New Yorkers in one survey, has some strong opposition from the American Beverage Association, theNational Association of Theatre Owners of New York State, the NAACP chapter, and more groups. Business Insider notes that the judge's decision may have been due to what he found as unchecked power in the mayor's office. Wrote Judge Milton Tingling in the ruling: "If [the soda ban is] upheld, [it] would ... violate the separation of powers doctrine. The rule would not only violate the separation of powers doctrine, it would eviscerate it. Such an evisceration has the potential to be more troubling than sugar sweetened beverages." Of course, another huge factor in whether or not the soda ban will ultimately go into effect has much to do with timing, as Bloomberg leaves office this year. (And, as the The New Yorker's Alex Koppelman notes, Tingling's time as a Supreme Court Justice for the state of New York is also up; his 14-year term is ending next year and may be up for re-election.)
Still, it's hard to ignore some of the research that continues to come out about the dangers of sugar and sugary drinks, including links to premature births and depression. Even the consumption of diet soda and diet drinks has dramatically risen, especially for children. The research has shaped Bloomberg's argument for the soda ban, a move that has dramatically changed the ongoing debate about health, obesity, and sugar. With more cities proposing (and shutting down) soda taxes and bans, the fight is hardly over.
Click here to learn more about the soda ban and its near year-long history; we have a feeling this is one fight that may drag out.