• Home
    Home We Serve America's Restaurants Representing nearly 500,000 restaurant businesses, we advocate for restaurant and foodservice industry interests and provide tools and systems that help members of all sizes achieve success.
  • Foundation
    Foundation Building & Retaining Talent The NRAEF is focused on developing a stronger workforce and building the next generation of industry leaders through education, scholarships and community engagement.
  • Show
    Show May 18-21, 2019 As the international foodservice marketplace, the National Restaurant Association Show provides unparalleled opportunities for buyers and sellers to come together, conduct business and learn from each other.
  • ServSafe
    ServSafe Minimize Risk. Maximize Protection. For over 40 years, ServSafe® training programs have delivered the knowledge, leadership and protection that have earned the trust and confidence of business leaders everywhere.

National Restaurant Association - Thousands of NYers sign petition opposing soda ban

Skip to navigation Skip to content

News & Research

Email Print
News RSS

Thousands of NYers sign petition opposing soda ban

More than 60,000 people have already signed a petition opposing New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposed "soda ban" in that city, the New Yorkers for Beverage Choices coalition says.

The petition, which the coalition issued in an attempt to fight the ban, affirms that New Yorkers are "capable of making their own food and beverage choices." Also, the group, along with the National Restaurant Association, the New York State Restaurant Association, various restaurants and New York business operators, is encouraging signers to file comments with the city's Department of Health in advance of its July 24 public hearing on the ban. In addition, the coalition will hold a rally July 23 at New York's City Hall to protest the ban. The rally is expected to begin at 10 a.m.

"These numbers are a testament to the fact that New Yorkers feel this proposal is arbitrary, ineffective and overzealous," said coalition spokesman Eliot Hoff. "New Yorkers aren't going to accept government dictating what they are allowed to drink and in what quantities. It's not what New Yorkers need. And you have to wonder what's next: popcorn, pizza?"

If passed, the mayor's mandate would ban the sale of sugar-sweetened beverages above 16 ounces at restaurants, delis, concessions at movie theaters and stadiums, food carts and other venues throughout the New York City area. Soda, energy drinks, some coffee beverages and sweetened iced tea would be subject to the ban, but diet soda, some fruit juices, dairy-based drinks and alcoholic beverages would not.

The mandate, which the mayor has said is aimed at lowering the city's rising obesity rates, does not need voter or city council approval. The city's board of health is expected to vote Sept. 13 on whether or not to enact the ban.
According to the coalition's Hoff, several recent polls have indicated that many New Yorkers oppose the proposal to limit the size of their sweetened beverages to 16 ounces. He added that some local lawmakers are against the ban, too.
Councilwoman Letitia James of Brooklyn, N.Y., has said that implementing a beverage ban is not the way to reduce the city's obesity issue. Rather, she noted, educating the public on how to make proper food and drink choices would achieve better overall results.

"We all want a healthier New York, but this [ban] just isn't the way to go about it," she said. "My constituents and people across this city understand the need for real solutions that take into account the socio-economic landscape ... and the complexities of people's food choices. We need better education and funding for health programs, not gimmicks."

The NRA, which strongly opposes the ban, agrees with the councilwoman's assessment, saying better education, not increased regulation, is the key to reversing higher obesity rates.

"The restaurant industry is using myriad strategies to help provide alternatives consumers want, including adding more healthful items to menus and offering nutrition information to consumers," said Scott DeFife, the association's executive vice president of policy and government affairs. "Regulations, such as the mayor's plan, that target specific food establishments but not others, misplace responsibility, threaten small businesses and create a false sense of accomplishment."

DeFife further stated that the NRA would "work to educate decision-makers on just how problematic this proposal is for New York restaurant operators."

Conserve RSS Healthcare RSS Conserve RSS

▲ Back to Top

We're glad you're here!®

® 2012-2017 National Restaurant Association. All rights reserved.

2055 L St. NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20036
(202) 331-5900 | (800) 424-5156