One day before it was due to go into come into effect, a ban on large sugary drinks in New York has been thrown out.
Certain places would have had to stop selling the soft drinks known as sodas in 16 ounce servings – equivalent to nearly half a litre.
At the last minute, a judge called the ban “arbitrary and capricious”, putting a stop to its enforcement, much to the dismay of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “We strongly believe that in the end the court will recognise the Board of Health’s authority to regulate the sale of beverages that have virtually no nutritional value and which, consumed in large quantities, are leading to disease and death for thousands of people every year,” he said.
The judge also said the ban would be hard to enforce because it only stops certain places from selling the big drinks.
Some retailers were prepared for a ban. One of them was Ayman Kamel, General Manager of Frames Bowling NYC.
“It’s going to cost a little bit more money and of course juices are not as cheap as sodas, but I think people will figure out the value they are getting,” Kamel said, anticipating the ban would be put in place.
Even if the ban had received the go-ahead, people would still have been able to buy the large sodas at some outlets, such as supermarkets.
The judge’s decision is being appealed.