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Originally published October 25 2012

Soda, restaurant industries sue NYC over drink size restrictions

by Ethan A. Huff, staff writer

(NaturalNews) Following a landmark decision by the New York City Board of Health back in September to ban the sale of soda beverages larger than 16 ounces at restaurants, street food carts, and movie theaters beginning in March 2013, a cohort of industry players from the soda and restaurant industries is now fighting back in the form of a lawsuit.

According to the Associated Press (AP), the American Beverage Association, the National Restaurant Association, a soft drink workers union, and various other business groups are collectively suing to block the new measure, which they say unfairly obstructs the normal sale and transfer of "safe and lawful beverages."

The measure, which was touted as a way to help fight the obesity epidemic, unfairly harms many small businesses as well, particularly concession stands and restaurants, say its opponents. Since convenience stores are exempt from the new law, patrons who wish to drink sugary beverages from containers larger than 16 ounces will simply begin buying them elsewhere.

The same AP report explains that 10 City Council members expressed support for a measure back in July that urged the Board of Health not to approve the measure, as it will needlessly hurt businesses and likely do little or nothing to actually curb the obesity epidemic. At least 60 percent of New Yorkers have also previously expressed opposition to the measure.

New York City bureaucrats using obesity as excuse to accumulate more power

But New York City's Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who also helped establish an elaborate $40 million city-wide spying system in New York City, does not particularly care what the people of his city think about the issue. A Bloomberg spokesman actually declared the lawsuit "baseless," insisting that it will only draw more attention to the obesity epidemic.

It is hard to see how the measure will be at all effective, though, especially considering the fact that diet sodas filled with toxic aspartame are exempt. Aspartame and other artificial sweetening chemicals have also been linked to obesity in many of the same ways as high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which begs the question -- exactly what science did Bloomberg and his nanny-state sympathizers consult when crafting their new measure?

As toxic as HFCS-laden sodas truly are, is it really the government's responsibility to prohibit them from being consumed in certain sizes? And since when has prohibition itself ever even worked to achieve such ends? Nowhere in all this regulatory fervor have government officials ever once spoke of the specific dangers of HFCS or aspartame, nor have they helped educate the public on healthy alternatives like zero-calorie stevia extract.

As usual, the entire charade appears to be nothing more than an elaborate political stunt designed to accumulate more government control over people's lives. While it is true that popular soda beverages can be harmful to health, banning or restricting their consumption via inane city-wide measures will not solve the problem, as it fails to get to the root causes of the problem.

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