NEW YORK CITY -- New Yorkers for Beverage Choices has signed on 50,000 new members since the city's health department passed Mayor Michael Bloomberg's historic ban on large-size sugary drinks on Sept. 13. Its ranks, which began forming in March, have now reached 300,000 individuals, businesses and organizations united in their opposition to the new rule.
The first-of-its-kind ban in the nation prohibits restaurants, food carts, movie theaters, sports arenas and delis from selling sugary drinks in containers holding more than 16 ounces. It applies only to drinks that contain more than 25 calories per 8-fl.oz. serving, and does not extend to diet sodas, fruit juices, milk-based drinks or alcoholic beverages. | SEE STORY
Vending machines are not included in the ban. However, the National Automatic Merchandising Association has joined the coalition to advocate for giving consumers the right to choose what, and how much, they drink.
"This isn't a game of chicken," said Liz Berman, chairwoman of New Yorkers for Beverage Choices. "We aren't jumping out of the way just because the Board of Health rubber-stamped the mayor's ban on soft drinks. In growing numbers, New Yorkers are standing up for small businesses in the city that will be harmed by this arbitrary policy that puts them at a competitive disadvantage."
Eliot Hoff, spokesperson for New Yorkers for Beverage Choices, said the group is "still looking into every option to ensure that this ban does not go into effect in March.