ALBANY, N.Y. -- New York City officials are once again trying to push a ban on large sugary drinks, taking their argument to the state's highest court.
According to the case summary posted on the New York State Court of Appeals website, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in conjunction with the Board of Health are asking the court to reinstate their Portion Cap Rule, which restricts the sale of soda and other "sugary drinks" in containers larger than 16 ounces. Lower courts found the rule was adopted in violation of the separation of powers doctrine.
Arguments were set to be heard at 2 p.m. Wednesday.
In an effort to fight obesity, then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed the regulation in May 2012. In September 2012, the board adopted the limited serving size for non-diet soft drinks, sweetened coffee and tea, energy and sports drinks, hot chocolate and sweetened juices. It excluded alcoholic beverages, milkshakes, fruit smoothies, mixed coffee drinks, mochas and lattes, as well as 100-percent fruit juices.
The restriction was challenged by labor unions and associations representing restaurant and theater owners, beverage producers and distributors, and small and minority-owned businesses. Lower courts agreed with their argument that the board overstepped its authority.
If reinstated, the rule would apply to restaurants, delis, fast-food franchises, movie theaters, stadiums and street carts. It would not apply to convenience stores -- despite numerous reports calling it the "Big Gulp ban." Grocery stores, corner markets and gas stations would also be exempt.