Coca-Cola called Bloombergs plan "arbitrary"

Coca-Cola called Bloomberg's plan "arbitrary"

The Coca-Cola Co has hit back at New York City's proposed ban on large-serve sugary drinks, calling it an “arbitrary mandate” that patronises New Yorkers' intelligence.

The soft-drinks giant said in a statement today (31 May) that it clearly labels calorie contents of all its beverages and called on New York consumers to protest against the plan, announced yesterday. “The people of New York City are much smarter than the New York City Health Department believes,” the statement said.

“We are transparent with our consumers. They can see exactly how many calories are in every beverage we serve.”

The statement concluded: “New Yorkers expect and deserve better than this. They can make their own choices about the beverages they purchase.  We hope New Yorkers loudly voice their disapproval about this arbitrary mandate.”

Yesterday, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg outlined plans for a service-sector ban on sugary drinks bigger than 16oz (47.3cl). 

Drinks with less than 25 calories per 8oz serving would be unaffected.

Restaurant and beverage trade groups also criticised the proposal, with the American Beverage Association (ABA) claiming the New York City health department had an “unhealthy obsession” with attacking soft drinks.

“It’s time for serious health professionals to move on and seek solutions that are going to actually curb obesity,” the ABA said in a statement. “These zealous proposals just distract from the hard work that needs to be done on this front.”

Scott DeFife, EVP of policy and government Affairs for the National Restaurant Association, warned there was no silver bullet in the fight against obesity.

“Hyper-regulation such as this misplaces responsibility and creates a false sense of accomplishment,” DeFife said. 

“CDC research, which is consistent with industry and academic studies, shows that the vast majority of beverage calories consumed by the average American are not from sugary drinks obtained from restaurants, yet New York City’s eateries are being unfairly singled out to ration portion size of single beverage servings.”