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Update: Tish James Slams Passage of Large Soda Ban

Starting next year, sales of sugary drinks bigger than 16 ounces will be banned, with vendors facing a $200 fine.

Update, 4:27 p.m.: Councilwoman Letitia James, D-Fort Greene, a vocal critic of Mayor Bloomberg's proposal to limit the sales of certain sizes of sugary drinks, reacted to news Thursday that the measure had been approved by the city Board of Health with an 8-to-1 vote: 

"Unfortunately— but unsurprisingly—the Mayor's proposal to ban sugary drinks over 16 ounces has been approved by the Board of Health despite the fact that 60 percent of NYC residents don't agree with it. Instead of limiting choices, this administration should be working with our community groups and education officials to expand physical fitness activities and teach our kids the benefits of a healthy lifestyle at an early age," James said.

Instead of pushing a soda ban, James called on the city to beef up existing recreation facilities like those at Commodore Barry Park, which still does not have full funding .

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The New York City Board of Health voted Thursday to approve Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s ban on large sugary drinks—despite opposition from soda manufacturers—in an effort to curb city obesity rates.

Starting March 12, sales of sugary beverages larger than 16 ounces will be banned at restaurants, mobile food carts, delis and concessions at movie theaters, stadiums or arenas.

The city will begin fining sellers $200 for violating the ban in mid-June.

The proposal passed by a vote of eight to zero, with one abstention, one absence and one vacancy on the board, says the paper. 

As expected, beverage manufacturers quickly fired back at the mayor. Advocacy group New Yorkers for Beverage Choices released a statement saying that they are “exploring all avenues to challenge the Board’s ruling, including in court.”

“The fix was in from the beginning, and the Mayor’s handpicked board followed their orders by passing this discriminatory ban; but it has not passed with the support of New Yorkers,” said Liz Berman, business owner and chairwoman of New Yorkers for Beverage Choices. “It’s sad that the board wants to limit our choices.  We are smart enough to make our own decisions about what to eat and drink.”

In July, Councilwoman Letitia James, D-Fort Greene, , saying it would be "arbitrarily and unfairly applied."

Though the proposal to ban large sodas , an August poll found that .

Backers of the proposal pointed to the fact that 58 percent of New York City adults are overweight or obese, as well as 20 percent of public school children (grades Kindergarten through 8th grade).

Scottilla October 24, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Will the city council be taking any action?

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