NYC Soda Ban Overturned
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  1. #1
    A Liver Made Fullmetal Misato Katsuragi's Avatar
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    Default NYC Soda Ban Overturned

    From The New York Times:

    Quote Originally Posted by NY Times
    A judge invalidated New York City’s limits on large sugary drinks on Monday, one day before they were to go into effect, dealing a significant blow to one of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s signature public health initiatives and a marquee project of his third term.

    The decision by Justice Milton A. Tingling Jr. of State Supreme Court in Manhattan blocks the city from putting the rules into effect or enforcing them.

    Justice Tingling said the rule banning the drinks was “arbitrary and capricious.”

    In his opinion, Justice Tingling specifically cited a perceived inequity in the soda rules, which applies to only certain sugared drinks — beverages with a high milk content, for instance, would be exempt — and would apply only to some food establishments, like restaurants, but not others, like convenience stores.

    “It applies to some but not all food establishments in the city,” Justice Tingling wrote. “It excludes other beverages that have significantly higher concentrations of sugar sweeteners and/or calories.”

    The judge also wrote that the fact that consumers can receive refills of sodas, as long as the cup size is not larger than 16 ounces, would “defeat and/or serve to gut the purpose the rule.” The judge also appeared to be skeptical of the purview of the city’s Board of Health, which the Bloomberg administration had maintained has broad powers to seek to better the public’s health. That interpretation, the judge wrote, “would leave its authority to define, create, mandate and enforce limited only by its own imagination,” and “create an administrative Leviathan.”

    After the judge imposed a stop to the ban, the Bloomberg administration quickly said it would challenge the decision.

    “We plan to appeal the decision as soon as possible, and we are confident the Board of Health’s decision will ultimately be upheld,” Michael A. Cardozo, the Bloomberg administration’s chief counsel, said in a statement. “We believe the Board of Health has the legal authority — and responsibility — to tackle” the causes of obesity.
    You can read the rest at the link.

    I'm not sure how I feel about this. On one hand, I think the "controversy" about this was overblown; I think it says a lot about our society and its entitlement that people were acting like it was a huge attack on their freedoms not to be able to buy sugary drinks over 16 ounces. (And I say this as a massive soda junkie myself, albeit one who prefers diet.) On the other hand, the judge is right that it was a pretty useless way to "tackle the causes of obesity" or whatever other intended public health effects, with the numerous loopholes thrown in like allowing refills and multiple drinks and such.

    So I don't think it was particularly effective at what Bloomberg intended by it. It will be interesting to see how this affects him, considering this was one of his BIG pet projects of his current term.

    (ETA: And I'm particularly skeptical of the "beverages with a high milk content would be exempt" part. That would seem to exclude milkshakes/malts as well as a lot of those really sugary, high-calorie coffee drinks, like Frappuccinos. Most of which are far, far worse for you than your average sugary soda.)
    Last edited by Misato Katsuragi; 11th March 2013 at 05:37 PM.

    Hi, I'm Rose. I love music, alcohol, pointless Internet debates and being a snob about my choices in entertainment. I write a lot. You can read some of my writing at Autostraddle.com, the best site for LBTQ women on the Internet, where I am a staff writer. Or the funhouse that is my tumblr. I also write music sometimes, and post the better fruits of my labors on my SoundCloud.

  2. #2
    Simpler times ahead Mitchman's Avatar
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    Default Re: NYC Soda Ban Overturned

    As fat assed rejoiced, a single swift jump plummeted the tri-state area into a blackout.

    Seriously though, I'm glad for it. Nothing special came out of the ban, and it did more harm then good.
    "Funneh bunneh and the dammut Bahamut go on an adventure!"-Chespin Circa 2009

    I sure was funner back then, possibly even stupider....

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    A Liver Made Fullmetal Misato Katsuragi's Avatar
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    Default Re: NYC Soda Ban Overturned

    Quote Originally Posted by Chespin View Post
    Seriously though, I'm glad for it. Nothing special came out of the ban, and it did more harm then good.
    Well, except for the fact that it was never enforced. It was supposed to go into effect the day after it was overturned by the judge.

    Hi, I'm Rose. I love music, alcohol, pointless Internet debates and being a snob about my choices in entertainment. I write a lot. You can read some of my writing at Autostraddle.com, the best site for LBTQ women on the Internet, where I am a staff writer. Or the funhouse that is my tumblr. I also write music sometimes, and post the better fruits of my labors on my SoundCloud.

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    Default Re: NYC Soda Ban Overturned

    “It applies to some but not all food establishments in the city,” Justice Tingling wrote. “It excludes other beverages that have significantly higher concentrations of sugar sweeteners and/or calories.”
    This is my problem with the law. Nutritionists will recommend to never drink juice, yet juice isn't facing the social problems that soda is. Reality is that beverage companies have done a good job at portraying juice drinks as healthy and ~*all natural*~, and they just can't do that for soda anymore.

    The judge also wrote that the fact that consumers can receive refills of sodas, as long as the cup size is not larger than 16 ounces, would “defeat and/or serve to gut the purpose the rule.”
    While it's easy to think that, reality is that larger cup sizes actually do cause us to drink more. That's the reason why soda cup sizes have become so big.
    Last edited by Shinobu; 11th March 2013 at 08:44 PM.

  5. #5
    A Liver Made Fullmetal Misato Katsuragi's Avatar
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    Default Re: NYC Soda Ban Overturned

    Quote Originally Posted by Shinobu View Post
    “It applies to some but not all food establishments in the city,” Justice Tingling wrote. “It excludes other beverages that have significantly higher concentrations of sugar sweeteners and/or calories.”
    This is my problem with the law. Nutritionists will recommend to never drink juice, yet juice isn't facing the social problems that soda is. Reality is that beverage companies have done a good job at portraying juice drinks as healthy and ~*all natural*~, and they just can't do that for soda anymore.
    Are they excluding juice though? The exemption, from what I read, seemed to be for drinks with a lot of milk - which would apply more to coffee drinks than it would to juice.

    Also, my nutritionist never told me never to drink juice, but maybe she just assumed that I wasn't drinking a lot of it anyway. Diet soda tends to be my poison. When I want fruit, I'll usually make a smoothie with real fruit and some milk or whatever.

    Hi, I'm Rose. I love music, alcohol, pointless Internet debates and being a snob about my choices in entertainment. I write a lot. You can read some of my writing at Autostraddle.com, the best site for LBTQ women on the Internet, where I am a staff writer. Or the funhouse that is my tumblr. I also write music sometimes, and post the better fruits of my labors on my SoundCloud.

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    Default Re: NYC Soda Ban Overturned

    Honestly, the aspartame in diet drinks is more poisonous to your health than HFCS, and definitely more than good ol' fashioned sugar. It leads to a lot of brain and thyroid problems.

    Banning large portions really served no purpose when you also have supermarkets and convenience stores that sell sodas in two liter bottles for dirt cheap. New York City cannot regulate how large the bottles can be because that power solely rests with Congress according to Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Consititution, specifically the Commerce Clause. As a result, there was no way in hell the regulation could be enforced with any semblance of fairness.

    Given that, it's no surprise the regulation was overturned. The other reason is as the judge warned; you're giving far, far too much authority to an unelected board instead of an elected representative. Personally, I don't like a nanny state. I live in rural country, and I have a Sodastream soda maker, so my supply of fizzy goodness is intact for the foreseeable future. But if it happens there, it's eventually bound to happen here.
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  7. #7
    A Liver Made Fullmetal Misato Katsuragi's Avatar
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    Default Re: NYC Soda Ban Overturned

    @Lord Naarghul; Actually, the health scares about aspartame are pretty much baseless. The only ones with any truth to them apply to concentrations much higher than anybody - even hardcore diet soda addicts like myself - would be drinking, or to people with specific problems like phenylketonurics, in which case the government requires diet sodas to be labeled with warnings for them. Here's a more detailed debunking of some of the myths/exaggerations about it, written by a member of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.

    Just because something is deadly in an extremely high concentration doesn't mean it's unhealthy in a lower one. Even too much water can kill you, but it's a moot point because you'd never be drinking that much unless you were doing it on purpose.
    Last edited by Misato Katsuragi; 12th March 2013 at 05:06 PM.

    Hi, I'm Rose. I love music, alcohol, pointless Internet debates and being a snob about my choices in entertainment. I write a lot. You can read some of my writing at Autostraddle.com, the best site for LBTQ women on the Internet, where I am a staff writer. Or the funhouse that is my tumblr. I also write music sometimes, and post the better fruits of my labors on my SoundCloud.

  8. #8

    Default Re: NYC Soda Ban Overturned

    Quote Originally Posted by Shinobu View Post
    While it's easy to think that, reality is that larger cup sizes actually do cause us to drink more. That's the reason why soda cup sizes have become so big.
    I don't know about that, I think they have become so big so companies can charge a ton more money for something that barely costs them any money.
    That's nice.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: NYC Soda Ban Overturned

    Quote Originally Posted by TheMissingno. View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Shinobu View Post
    While it's easy to think that, reality is that larger cup sizes actually do cause us to drink more. That's the reason why soda cup sizes have become so big.
    I don't know about that, I think they have become so big so companies can charge a ton more money for something that barely costs them any money.
    I think it's all a lot simpler than either of those things. People wanted bigger cup sizes, so they made them.

    And I think it primarily has to do with people who get take-out and, thus, aren't getting refills. When I'm going to stay at a restaurant that offers free refills, I almost always get the smallest size, because it's cheaper and I know I can keep refilling it if I want more.

    Hi, I'm Rose. I love music, alcohol, pointless Internet debates and being a snob about my choices in entertainment. I write a lot. You can read some of my writing at Autostraddle.com, the best site for LBTQ women on the Internet, where I am a staff writer. Or the funhouse that is my tumblr. I also write music sometimes, and post the better fruits of my labors on my SoundCloud.

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    Hψ=Eψ H-con's Avatar
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    Default Re: NYC Soda Ban Overturned

    Quote Originally Posted by Goodbye Blue Monday View Post
    I think it's all a lot simpler than either of those things. People wanted bigger cup sizes, so they made them.
    I don't really buy that. It's more that people realized they wanted it after they made it. Besides, why not buy a larger cup for seemingly "less" (at least per liter), that's just basic marketing really, especially when you directly compare it to a smaller product.

    Nutritionists will recommend to never drink juice, yet juice isn't facing the social problems that soda is
    [Citation Needed]

    I have really never heard this at all. Of course, I don't have a high opinion of that industry at all.

    Banning large portions really served no purpose when you also have supermarkets and convenience stores that sell sodas in two liter bottles for dirt cheap
    While true, I know I certainly wouldn't bother taking a two liter bottle to a restaurant (or generally how a lot of people would choose to do this). I really fail to see your point.

    Just because something is deadly in an extremely high concentration doesn't mean it's unhealthy in a lower one. Even too much water can kill you, but it's a moot point because you'd never be drinking that much unless you were doing it on purpose.
    You're really taking things way out of context here, and comparing one thing that is essential to continued life and comparing it to something that's not at all necessary. It's a pretty weak point.



    I really don't care for the ban either way, but I don't buy some of the arguments used against it here.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: NYC Soda Ban Overturned

    Quote Originally Posted by H-con View Post
    Just because something is deadly in an extremely high concentration doesn't mean it's unhealthy in a lower one. Even too much water can kill you, but it's a moot point because you'd never be drinking that much unless you were doing it on purpose.
    You're really taking things way out of context here, and comparing one thing that is essential to continued life and comparing it to something that's not at all necessary. It's a pretty weak point.
    It's not "taking things way out of context" when using something that was essential for life was intentional on my part. To illustrate how much levels of concentrations can make the difference between harmful and not-harmful.

    Just because we need water and don't need aspartame, doesn't make it any less true. The point is about whether or not it's harmful, not if it's helpful.

    Hi, I'm Rose. I love music, alcohol, pointless Internet debates and being a snob about my choices in entertainment. I write a lot. You can read some of my writing at Autostraddle.com, the best site for LBTQ women on the Internet, where I am a staff writer. Or the funhouse that is my tumblr. I also write music sometimes, and post the better fruits of my labors on my SoundCloud.

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    Default Re: NYC Soda Ban Overturned

    Quote Originally Posted by Goodbye Blue Monday View Post
    @Lord Naarghul; Actually, the health scares about aspartame are pretty much baseless. The only ones with any truth to them apply to concentrations much higher than anybody - even hardcore diet soda addicts like myself - would be drinking, or to people with specific problems like phenylketonurics, in which case the government requires diet sodas to be labeled with warnings for them. Here's a more detailed debunking of some of the myths/exaggerations about it, written by a member of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.

    Just because something is deadly in an extremely high concentration doesn't mean it's unhealthy in a lower one. Even too much water can kill you, but it's a moot point because you'd never be drinking that much unless you were doing it on purpose.
    I find this funny because the exact same thing is true about saccharin and yet they still left it to rot in regulation hell for 40 years.

    Any artificial sweetener is bad for you. If you want sweet, go with the real deal or go with honey. At the same time, there's no real reason to ban any of it if it neither picks my picket or breaks my leg, as Jefferson would say.
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: NYC Soda Ban Overturned

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Naarghul View Post
    I find this funny because the exact same thing is true about saccharin and yet they still left it to rot in regulation hell for 40 years.
    It doesn't mean that things will turn out the same way.

    When my nutritionist tells me that aspartame is awful for me and I need to cut it out of my diet - as opposed to pretty much the opposite, which is what she told me when I asked about it - then maybe I'll stop. I trust someone who is studying this as her life's work more than baseless naturalistic-fallacy scaremongering.

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    Default Re: NYC Soda Ban Overturned

    Quote Originally Posted by Goodbye Blue Monday View Post
    It's not "taking things way out of context" when using something that was essential for life was intentional on my part. To illustrate how much levels of concentrations can make the difference between harmful and not-harmful.

    Just because we need water and don't need aspartame, doesn't make it any less true. The point is about whether or not it's harmful, not if it's helpful.

    You compare something that really only have a detrimental effect (because it sure as hell isn't beneficiary) to something that's necessary to live. The problem in this scenario is the concentrations, to be frank it's really not that easy to drink dangerous amounts of water. You'd have to be either actively trying (and even then, dying isn't all that easy either) or put in a very extreme situation. For any normal person, it should be clear what's more detrimental. I still stand by my point that it was a shitty example.


    There's a lot of health scares fueled by the media, and I take every health related thing they say with a kilo of salt. This applies to both "It's okay to eat this" and "Holy shit, this will give you cancer", so at the moment I'm skeptical to the claims that's it's as safe as some people want it to be, but I don't think it's some kind of addition that causes cancer on par with smoking either. Our society should always ask what we put into our bodies, and if it's beneficiary to us.

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    A Liver Made Fullmetal Misato Katsuragi's Avatar
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    Default Re: NYC Soda Ban Overturned

    Quote Originally Posted by H-con View Post
    You compare something that really only have a detrimental effect (because it sure as hell isn't beneficiary)
    Something can be neither beneficiary nor detrimental, you know.

    I'm not saying diet soda is great for you. Certainly, there are a lot to the claims that diet soda encourages you to eat more than you would drinking regular soda. There's also the caffeine in various sodas, which is bad for you in various ways, and my nutritionist has encouraged me to cut down on it in that sense. She just told me that there's no basis to the idea that the aspartame in it is harmful.

    Anyway, this is getting way off-topic. The original discussion was about sugary sodas, since that's what the NYC ban addressed. Let's focus on that.

    Hi, I'm Rose. I love music, alcohol, pointless Internet debates and being a snob about my choices in entertainment. I write a lot. You can read some of my writing at Autostraddle.com, the best site for LBTQ women on the Internet, where I am a staff writer. Or the funhouse that is my tumblr. I also write music sometimes, and post the better fruits of my labors on my SoundCloud.

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