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Yesterday a state appeals court unanimously upheld a lower court decision from last year blocking the Bloomberg Administration's ban on large sugary drinks. The First Department of the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court ruled the Board of Health overstepped their authority and that a ban should be left to lawmakers. The four-judge panel said since sugary drinks aren't harmful in moderation, they don't fall under the category of "inherently harmful" foods the board can ban. They also found the rule "manipulates choices to try to change consumer norms” through various exceptions and carve-outs and so went beyond the board's core mission to improve public health. The administration plans an appeal to the state's highest court.

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A judge struck down Mayor Bloomberg's sugary drink ban yesterday, calling the limits “arbitrary and capricious” with confusing loopholes and voluminous exemptions. The limits of city authority means some businesses, such as 7-Eleven, would still be able to sell the drinks banned in other stores if it passed. The administration will appeal, and likened the decision to a string of other lower court rulings against the city's initiatives that didn't stand up against appeal. The ruling was a surprise, as the judge had been expected to rule only on a request for a temporary restraining order. The mayoral candidates differed on the ban. For more, read our story on the ruling.

 

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Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to see the state adopt the city's ban on large sugary beverages, but that isn't Gov. Andrew Cuomo to-do list. 

During a press conference this afternoon, Cuomo bluntly responded to a quesiton about the drinks ban saying: "We're not considering it. I haven't really studied it ether." 

It seems a bit of a switch for Cuomo, who had positive things to say about the ban in June 2011. 

"Obesity is a major problem that we desperately need to address,” Cuomo said on former Gov. David Paterson's now-cancelled radio show in June 2011. “So I don’t see that this can do any harm.”

The soda industry wants to do its best to make sure the restriction on the sale of large sugary beverages does not move beyond New York City. 

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Shortly after voting almost unanimously to limit the size of sugary drinks to no more than 16 ounces, the Board of Health got a big developer to throw his weight behind the regulation months before it goes into affect.

Bruce Ratner of Forest City Ratner, the developer of the Barclays Center in downtown Brooklyn, said the stadium would follow the rule when it opens in two weeks.

"It is time really for us to do this kind of initiative," he said during a news conference with Mayor Michael Bloomberg and top health officials at City Hall this afternoon. "We need to change how we look at obesity."

He said Coca-Cola, the soda beverage partner for the stadium, had agreed to the size limit.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg lauded the decision by the Board of Health. The panel voted eight-to-zero, with one abstention, for the new regulation.

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