New Yorkers have started to petition against Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed “soda ban,” which will create size restrictions on soft drinks, juice drinks, sports drinks, flavored water and teas sold at many retail outlets.
The ban would affect delis, restaurants, movie theaters, street cars, sports arenas, corner stores and bodegas, limiting customers to only purchasing 16 ounces of these beverages.
New Yorkers for Beverage Choices, a coalition of New York restaurants, movie theaters, businesses and citizens opposed to the proposed soda ban, announced the ban currently has 62,344 signatures. The coalition is encouraging all New Yorkers to make their voices heard by filing a comment with the Department of Health in advance of a July 24 public hearing on the proposal. Canvassers are out in all five boroughs, educating New York about the impact of the proposed ban.
“These numbers are a testament to the fact that New Yorkers feel this proposal is arbitrary, ineffective and overzealous,” said Eliot Hoff, spokesman for New Yorkers for Beverage Choices. “New Yorkers aren’t just going to accept government dictating what they are allowed to drink, and in what quantities. It’s not what New Yorkers want or need.”
A total of 675 businesses have joined the New Yorkers for Beverage Choices coalition so far.
Henry Calderon, president of East Harlem Chamber of Commerce, said the proposal could be a target against small businesses by enforcing more restrictions.
“Mom & pop shops are struggling to survive,” he said. “We cannot force them to act as mother and father to their customers, policing what they eat and drink.”