US: Lobby group admits defeat in fight against New York soft drinks ban
New York is likely to implement a ban on large sugary drinks
A high-profile opponent of the ban on large high-sugar drinks in New York City has admitted defeat in attempts to block the measure.
But the New Yorkers Against Beverages Choices told just-drinks yesterday (23 August) it will to continue its fight against the mayor Michael Bloomberg-backed plan. “We expect to lose,” spokesperson for New Yorkers Against Beverages Choices, Elliot Hoff, said. “We expect (the measure) to pass.”
New Yorkers Against Beverages Choices was set up in the wake of the ban first being proposed earlier this year. Its list of backers include businesses in New York as well as The Coca-Cola Co, Pepsi Cola Bottling Company of New York, Dr Pepper Snapple Group and the American Beverage Association.
The ban will outlaw high-sugar drinks sold in containers larger than 16oz in the city's restaurants, stadiums and cinemas.
New York's health board is expected to approve the measure on 13 September, and Hoff said his group will still be active until at least next March, when the measure is expected to become law.
“Between 13 September and March everything stays the same, and we're looking into our options then,” Hoff said.
The move came as a poll in the New York Times showed a majority of New Yorkers oppose the ban that will outlaw high-sugar drinks sold in containers larger than 16oz in city restaurants, stadiums and cinemas.
Hoss said the poll highlighted the breadth of opposition to the proposal.
“Although it's probable that the measure will pass on 13 September, it will not be passed with the support of the New Yorker, and the poll is more evidence of that.
“We have over 125,000 people who are just citizens of New York who have joined the coalition and are against the ban.
"And those people are representative of every colour and every ethnic group and borough, of every socio-economic group. So we know that the sentiment against the ban really spans every New Yorker. This is populist issue right now and the poll shows that we are overwhelmingly against the ban.”
Hoff also said other cities have learned from his group's actions.
“We've not seen a groundswell of support for this and we think that the arguments that we've given - that it can affect one business but not another even though they are right next to each other - I think those messages are really resonating across the country.
“Mayors don't want to implement a ban that will have no impact.”
The boss of Dr Pepper Snapple Group has said he will not let "threats" to the industry over obesity concerns affect the group's volumes. ...
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