Judge Halts New York City Ban on Large Sugary Drinks

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New York City’s planned ban on the sale of large sugary drinks won’t go into effect Tuesday after a state judge blocked the restrictions, calling them “arbitrary and capricious.”

“The court finds that the regulation … is laden with exceptions based on economic and political concerns,” Justice Milton Tingling wrote. Mayor Michael Bloomberg quickly vowed to appeal the decision, countering that the city’s health department has the legal authority to use the ban to fight an obesity epidemic.

“We believe that the judge’s decision was clearly in error and that we will prevail on appeal,” Bloomberg told reporters.

Scheduled to begin at midnight, the law would have restricted the sale of sugary drinks to no more than 16 ounces in restaurants, fast-food eateries, movie theaters and stadiums. But the law would have exempted a variety of retailers, including 7-Eleven, seller of the iconic “Big Gulp” drinks, because it is regulated by the state, not the city.

“The effect would be a person is unable to buy a drink larger than 16 ounces at one establishment but may be able to buy it at another establishment that may be located right next door,” Tingling wrote.

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