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Soda Wars Episode 2: The Industry Strikes Back

Mike Bloomberg announced that he wants to limit the size of sugary beverages sold in NYC. The beverage industry isn't taking the news lying down.

Close-up of the pull-tab on an open can of coca-cola.

Photo: OmarRiva (flickr)

Members of the American Beverage Association are planning their strategy for campaigning against Bloomberg's proposed new policy.

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.

Industry Fizz 

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.

Twitter Tirades

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.

Read More:

  • Breaking Down The Industry Attacks On The Proposed Bloomberg Soda Ban (The Atlantic)
  • Soda Industry Maps Strategy To Defeat Bloomberg Plan To Ban Super-Sized Drinks (New York Times)
  • Big Soda Looks To Battle Bloomberg’s Ban On The Big Gulp (Gothamist)
Sarah Gordon

Sarah Gordon has been interested in food ethics since she was 15, learned about industrial slaughter, and launched into 10 years of vegetarianism. These days, she strives to be a conscientious omnivore. Now a PhD candidate in folklore, her research has caused her to spend a lot of time in the remote Canadian sub-arctic, where the lake trout (sustainably harvested) tastes amazing.

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