Business

Opponents Of Sugary Drink Ban Seek Delay On Enforcement

Big Gulp cup at a 7-Eleven. (file/credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Big Gulp cup at a 7-Eleven. (file/credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

CBS New York (con't)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP)Opponents of New York City’s sugary drink crackdown have asked a judge to block the ban from taking effect next month.

Groups representing the beverage industry, restaurateurs and other business interests filed the request Friday in a Manhattan court. They want to hold off enforcement of the measure until there’s a ruling on their lawsuit seeking to block it altogether.

City lawyers have said they plan to oppose the bid to delay enforcement.

The proposal, scheduled to take effect on March 12, would ban many eateries from selling high-sugar drinks in cups or containers bigger than 16 ounces.

The critics say it’s not right to make businesses incur the expenses of complying before it’s clear whether the measure itself will withstand court scrutiny.

Last month, the NAACP’s New York branch and a network of Hispanic groups also filed a lawsuit against the sugary drink ban.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has led the charge on the sugary drink ban, called the lawsuit “a disgrace” and defended the ban as a way to curb obesity.

Also last month, city officials announced that soda sellers will get a three-month grace period from fines for violating the upcoming crackdown, but said the size limit was still set to take effect as planned in March.

The restriction is the first of its kind in the nation, and it drew support from doctors and diet companies. Its leading advocate, Mayor Bloomberg, called it a reasonable restriction that could stop people from consuming calories they might not even consider. He noted that the costs of obesity are rising, in both suffering and dollars.

The regulation puts a 16-ounce limit on sugary drinks sold at city restaurants, movie theaters, sports venues and street carts and applies to both bottled and fountain drinks.

It does not include grocery or convenience stores that don’t serve prepared food and would not apply to diet soda, other calorie-free drinks or anything that has at least 50 percent milk or milk substitute.

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