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National Restaurant Association - New York beverage ban appeal underway

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New York beverage ban appeal underway

A New York State appeals court will soon decide whether or not to uphold a state court judge’s decision barring New York City’s Department of Health from limiting the sale of sugar-sweetened beverages larger than 16 ounces at area restaurants and foodservice operations.

Lawyers for the NRA, the American Beverage Association and the health department, presented their arguments June 11 before a panel of four appellate justices from the First Department of the Appellate Division, who will decide whether to uphold Judge Milton Tingling’s ruling in March to strike down the city’s proposed beverage ban or reverse the decision.

In his original ruling, Judge Tingling called the ban arbitrary and capricious because it applies to some, but not all foodservice establishments in the city.

The ban, mandated by the health department last year, would prohibit restaurants, delis, stadiums and arenas, concession stands and food carts from selling sugar-sweetened beverages in containers larger than 16 ounces. Restricted beverages would include soda, sweetened iced tea, some smoothies and coffee drinks and lemonade. Milk-based drinks and alcoholic beverages are excluded from the list.

If the health department wins the appeal, foodservice and concessions operations would be obligated to comply with the regulation, but supermarkets and c-stores would be exempt.

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