Mayor, opponents make final push before soda ban hearing
The city's Department of Health will get an earful Tuesday about the proposed super-sized drinks ban, but a confident Mayor Mike Bloomberg Monday had no doubts the measure will eventually become a reality.
At a news conference, the mayor pointed out that there was some resilience to the ban on transfats and smoking in bars and restaurants, but in the end those complaints died out when the opponents saw New Yorkers were healthier.
"Compared to smoking, this is an easy battle to win and nobody's going to stop this," he said of his plan to prohibit the sale of sugary drinks greater than 16 ounces from most stores and resturants.
The mayor's office released new ads Monday that show the growth in soda and food sizes over the years have correlated to the increase in obesity.
The Health Department will hold a public hearing Tuesday at 1 p.m. at its Long Island City offices, but opponents got a head start Monday.
New Yorkers for Beverage Choices, a coalition of restaurants, businesses and leaders that is funded by the soda companies, protested at City Hall and said they have more than 90,000 petitions against the ban.
The ban doesn't need City Council approval and would go into effect next March if enacted by the Health Department in September.
"We know we're playing against a stacked deck and we face an uphill climb, but we are here to make our voices heard," Liz Berman, one of the coalition's members, said in a statement.