Soda lovers of New York City, rejoice: your 32-ounce super-sized soda is safe.
The New York Court of Appeals upheld the decision of two lower state courts to strike down Michael Bloomberg's Portion Cap Rule, which would have placed limits on how large restaurants could make sugary drinks in New York City, and the amount of sugar they could put in them. The law was part of Bloomberg's infamous movement to make New York City a healthier place: he launched a major bike-share program called CitiBike and famously banned smoking in outdoor public places in New York City. Though this bill has failed, for now, DeBlasio's office is looking for other ways to battle Big Soda.
The court ruled on June 26 in a 4-2 majority that the New York City health board had overreached its authority when it passed the soda ban, which was introduced in 2012 by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. In the majority ruling, Judge Eugene Pigott wrote, "By choosing among competing policy goals, without any legislative delegation or guidance, the Board engaged in law-making and thus infringed upon the legislative jurisdiction of the City Council."
The law banning super-sized soda was struck down in March 2013 by the state of New York, before it ever went into effect. The law advanced to the New York Supreme Court where it was struck down again. Their July 2013 decision said that "the Board of Health overstepped the boundaries of its lawfully delegated authority when it promulgated the Portion Cap Rule to curtail the consumption of soda drinks."
This move is seen by many as a triumph for soda companies, and a failure for health advocates. Mayor DeBlasio said in a press statement s that he was "extremely disappointed by today's Court decision that prevents the city from implementing a sugary drink portion cap policy." DeBlasio reiterated his commitment to fighting to limit the sales of sugary drinks in other ways to help curb the spread of obesity.
Mary T. Bassett, the New York City Department of Health Commissioner said in a statement, "The June 26 ruling does not change the fact that sugary drink consumption is a key driver of the obesity epidemic, and we will continue to look for ways to stem the twin epidemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes." In her statement, she said that her next plan of attack is to seek to limit marketing of sugary drinks, sodas, and other unhealthy foods.