By The Associated Press - Thursday, January 24, 2013 - 0 Comments
NEW YORK, N.Y. – The city defended its groundbreaking size limit on sugary drinks…
NEW YORK, N.Y. – The city defended its groundbreaking size limit on sugary drinks Wednesday as an imperfect but meaningful rein on obesity, while critics said it would hurt small and minority-owned businesses while doing little to help health.
The first courtroom arguments in the closely watched case ended without an immediate ruling. Opponents said they planned to ask a judge to delay enforcement during the suit, which has broached questions of racial fairness alongside arguments about government authority and burdens to business.
The NAACP’s New York state branch and a network of Hispanic groups have joined a legal effort to block the first-of-its-kind restriction, igniting questions Wednesday about the groups’ ties to the beverage industry.
Beverage makers, restaurateurs, minority advocates and other critics told a judge the upcoming 16-ounce limit was a finger-wagging incursion on consumer choice, rife with inconsistencies that would cost a hot dog vendor business while still allowing New Yorkers to buy belly-buster sodas at the chain convenience store next to him. Opponents’ lawyers called it “ham-handed,” ”grossly unfair” and just “plain silly.”
“New Yorkers do not want to be told what to drink,” attorney James Brandt said.