The National Restaurant Association released the following statement about the decision by a New York state judge who on March 11 struck down the New York City beverage ban.
The ruling by State Supreme Court Justice Milton Tingling in Manhattan came down just one day before the ban was supposed to take effect. Tingling said he found the ban to be arbitrary and capricious.
The National Restaurant Association joined the American Beverage Association and others in filing the lawsuit challenging the ban last fall, saying it was arbitrary and subjected restaurateurs to a standard that many of its competitors, including groceries and c-stores, didn’t have to meet. The Association said the judge’s decision to overturn the ban was a huge win.
“This is a great victory, particularly for thousands of restaurant operators and industry suppliers serving New York City who would have experienced financial hardships had the ban been enacted,” said Dawn Sweeney, President and CEO of the National Restaurant Association. “We are extremely pleased that the judge recognized that the Board of Health exceeded its authority when it initially passed the ban.”
The ban would have prohibited restaurants, delis, stadiums and arenas, concession stands and food carts from selling sugar-sweetened beverages in containers above 16 ounces. Banned beverages would have included soda, sweetened iced tea, some smoothies, coffee drinks and lemonade.
Sweeney added, “We look forward to working with public health officials to engage in a constructive dialogue that will have a positive and sustained impact on the people of New York City.”