New York’s Anti-Prohibitionists Get Day in Court

I (question) NYYesterday, a New York court heard the argument by groups opposing the New York City ban on sodas larger than 16 ounces in restaurants and other eateries. Advocates for consumer choice argued that the prohibition was improperly passed, discriminated against particular businesses, and unfairly targeted certain demographics.

Our Senior Research Analyst told amNewYork that the ban was improperly approved, and should have gone through the elected city council and not Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s handpicked bureaucracy. The reason Bloomberg chose the route that he did is obvious: The ban is notoriously unpopulareven in liberal New York City.

However the New York court rules, the legal maneuvering behind the most prominent law banning the purchase of a beverage since the Volstead Act is informative. Anti-food crusaders know that they do not have the support of the public, so they have to find ways to impose their will while ignoring public opinion.

As our Executive Director tells Forbes readers, activists won’t be satisfied until laws like New York’s ban are in force denying consumers choices. Their current claim is that food is “addictive” like illegal drugs, even though as Cambridge University scientists found in an assessment of the evidence, there is “no conclusive evidence of a human withdrawal syndrome from foods.”

The goal? Kelly Brownell—godfather of the soda and food taxes opposed by roughly 60 percent of Americans in a litany of surveys by several pollsters—claims that food addiction will “change the legal landscape,” opening the door to more regulations and large-scale lawsuits. In short, they hope that shaky science will lead to more hops on pop, and less consumer choice.

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