03.12.2013 0

Bloomberg’s War on Soda suffers a defeat

By Adam Bitely — One day before Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s decree to stop the sale of large sugary drinks in some cases was to take effect in New York City, New York Supreme Court Judge Milton Tingling ruled that Bloomberg’s ban was banned.

New York City is “enjoined and permanently restrained from implementing or enforcing the new regulations,” wrote New York Supreme Court Judge Milton Tingling, effectively stopping Bloomberg’s nanny-state regulation aimed at combating obesity from taking effect. According to Judge Tingling, the regulations were “fraught with arbitrary and capricious consequences.”

Just this past Sunday on CBS’ Face the Nation, Mayor Bloomberg argued that his ban was not a ban. In Bloomberg’s words, “We’re not banning anything. It’s called portion control.” Apparently Judge Tingling did not agree.

Beginning on March 12, residents of the Big Apple would not be allowed to purchase sugary drinks larger than 16 oz. at restaurants and food carts. Those looking for a larger drink to quench their thirst would have still been able to buy their favorite large, sweet, sugary drink at convenience stores like 7-Eleven and at grocery stores because those businesses are regulated at the state level. While you could still purchase a large pizza (he hadn’t banned those yet), Mayor Bloomberg wanted to ensure that people were engaging in healthy eating by forcing them to have smaller drinks with their meals.

Bloomberg argued that his ban on large sodas was an effective way to teach people a lesson.  “It’s a typical way that companies use to and governments use to explain to people what’s in their interest and what isn’t,” said Bloomberg.

It’s unclear what companies Bloomberg was referring to that enforce bans on consumption of a certain size of food or drink, but the government has no business enforcing bans to get people to conform to their version of what they believe to be in their interest.

Perhaps it is time that Mayor Bloomberg be reminded that he, too, like all of the other residents of New York City is a mere mortal. He does not know or possess the powers to know what is in the best interest of everybody. And to make unilateral decisions as to what is in every single person’s best interest — in this case over 6 million people — is to assume that the residents of New York City are incapable of making the simple decision of what size beverage they would like with a meal.

Judge Tingling, unlike Mayor Bloomberg, realizes that the Mayor is not a god. And for that, New Yorkers should be grateful.

Adam Bitely is the Editor-in-Chief of NetRightDaily.com. You can follow NetRightDaily on Twitter at @NetRightDaily.

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