Michael Bloomberg “soda ban” is repealed by New York judge
The inaugural post for Real Talk was my take on New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s decision to ban large soda beverages and his attempt to curtail newborns from drinking baby formula. As I argued last August, I thought it was a judicial and an executive overreach to mandate that consumers couldn’t purchase large sugary drinks. I also wasn’t pleased with him scolding mothers of newborns who for whatever reason opted to feed their babies formula milk as opposed to breast milk. On Monday a judge repealed Bloomberg’s law.
According to Bloomberg News (Michael Bloomberg’s media company):
Justice Milton A. Tingling Jr. of the State Supreme Court in Manhattan said the law was “arbitrary and capricious” in that it didn’t treat drink and food establishments equally. The law applied to some beverages but exempted others, and it banned the sale of supersized drinks in some establishments while allowing them elsewhere, the judge said.
Among its biggest loopholes was that the law didn’t apply to all high-sugar beverages, including those with high milk content such as shakes and lattes. It also didn’t cover supermarkets, convenience stores or bodegas, because these establishments aren’t regulated by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The gap in regulatory authority resulted in a loophole that paradoxically would have excluded the actual Big Gulp, which is sold by 7-Eleven and has more than 360 calories of added sugar.
I commend the mayor for actually caring for his constituents’ health. My problem with his action is that I think he has no right to ban foods or drinks. Obesity is a serious problem in this country. That is an unequivocal fact. However, we live in the United States of America. This is a country where my government has no right to tell me that I should eat or drink less of something because they are “concerned” for my health.
The Daily Beast posted an interesting interview between Bloomberg and David Letterman.
I find it a bit hypocritical that somehow Cheez-Its are okay because the mayor likes them. Well what if I thought they should be banned. I don’t care to eat them and since there are far “healthier” choices we should just get rid of them all together. My point is that it’s not his place to tell another person what he/she can or cannot eat.
Bloomberg tries to explain that he believes he is “educating” the populace. His logic maintains that if you really want a 64 oz. beverage you could just purchase 2-32 oz. beverages. Why should I have to buy 2? Suppose I was a healthy individual who simply wanted a large beverage size soda. Why should I be penalized because other people have trouble maintaining a healthy weight? The 2-32 oz. cups will cost more than the 64 oz. option. His law is essentially a tax. If he truly wanted to “educate” then he could just enforce calorie counts on “junk food.” The consumer then has the necessary information he/she needs to make a better and hopefully “healthier” decision. I make “healthier” choices when I visually see how many calories my food or beverage options contain.
What do you think of the ban?
Twitter: @adrakontaidis & @talkrealdebate