Photo: OmarRiva (flickr)
New York City’s Mayor Mike Bloomberg recently announced a plan to limit the size of sugary drinks available for sale in food service establishments.
Unsurprisingly, though, drink manufacturers aren’t just sitting back and waiting for their soda to go flat.
The American Beverage Association (ABA) — the industry’s largest trade group — has announced its intention to combat the ban.
“We’ll be doing what people would expect us to be doing: talking to people and talking to the policy makers,” said Kevin Keane, ABA spokesman.
The ABA’s has begun collecting data in hopes of demonstrating that New York residents oppose Bloomberg’s proposal. The group has also launched a website designed to shift the focus of the obesity battle away from sugary drinks.
Some companies are even using Twitter to voice their opposition.
“@MikeBloomberg, we trust our customers to make the choices that are best for them,” reads one tweet from McDonald’s.
And a tweet from Coca-Cola is even more acerbic in tone: “Unlike @MikeBloomberg, @CocaColaCo thinks #NewYorkers can make their own choices about what they drink. #NYC deserves better.”
Legacy of a Lame Duck Mayor?
Bloomberg’s proposed ban must be approved by the New York City Board of Health in order to become law.
Opponents of the ban have been lobbying the board, but they’re not sure if they have enough support to block the policy’s passage since the Board of Health consists of a number of Bloomberg appointees.
Furthermore, that Bloomberg only has 18 months before his term expires means he doesn’t have a lot of incentive to back down from a policy he feels passionate about, especially if he views it as part of his mayoral legacy.