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Comment - Why NYC Soda War Could Rage On After Bloomberg Bows Out

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US soft drinks producers will no doubt be glad to see the back of out-going New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg. 

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The businessman and philanphropist, who has spent 12 years in charge, emerged as a bete-noire of the industry with his plans to ban large sugary drinks in the Big Apple's restaurants, movie theatres and food carts. Not to mention a poster campaign warning of the dangers of drinking too much soda.

The ban has so far been rejected by the city's courts, but is being appealed

The likes of the Coca-Cola Co and PepsiCo, however, would be wrong to roll out the bunting just yet. Bloomberg's replacement, Bill de Blasio, elected yesterday, has voiced his support for the controversial legislation. Despite promising a “clean break” from the current administration, unfortunately, for the industry this appears to be the one of the few issues on which de Blasio agrees with the Republican-turned-independent Bloomberg.  

“I think the mayor is right and I would continue the legal process,” de Blasio, the first Democrat to be NYC mayor for 20 years, told reporters last month. “We have to, of course, look at the specifics with our own lawyers to handle the mechanics, but there’s no question I want to see this rule go through.” De Blasio, who takes office at the start of next year, seems to agree with Bloomberg that a ban would help tackle childhood obesity.

The industry, led by the American Beverage Association, has so far done all it can to resist the new laws. 

Let battle commence... again. 


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