As the clock was winding down on 2013, pundits were openly wondering if the newly elected mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, would actually be worse in championing nanny-statism than his predecessor. He’s off to a pretty good start.
De Blasio has partaken in a very public feud with actor Liam Neeson regarding a ban on horse-drawn carriages. He has fought to classify e-cigarettes as a tobacco product, banning them in any area where regular cigarettes are already prohibited. New wood fireplaces are not safe … from being banned.
And when it comes to Big Gulps in the city it seems, he will carry on Bloomberg’s fight.
Hide your Big Gulps, again, New York.
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced this week his administration will pick up where former mayor Michael Bloomberg left off and will continue the battle to ban sodas larger than 16 ounces. The city will appeal a state court ruling that axed the ban last year.
City lawyers will argue the case at the Court of Appeals on June 4, the New York Daily News reported this week.
Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg got lots of headlines in 2012 when he declared war on Big Gulps and other large sugary drinks.
Bloomberg’s administration was excitedly awaiting implementation of his ban on large sodas to take place last March. A state judge intervened a day prior however, and “permanently restrained” the city “from implementing or enforcing the new regulations.”
In July, an appeals court also ruled that the soda ban was a blatant violation of “the principle of separation of powers.” A judicial panel determined that the ban went “beyond health concerns, in that it manipulates choices to try to change consumer norms.”
More recently, former Mayor Bloomberg indicated that his efforts in banning the Big Gulp would earn him a free pass into heaven.
Perhaps de Blasio is trying to punch his own ticket beyond the pearly gates.
Despite statements during his campaign that a ban on sugary drinks would be an important part of his public health agenda, de Blasio seemed to favor a more informational approach once he took office. He was quoted in the Daily News as saying, “I think we could do a much better job of working with parents and working with communities to help them understand why this is a good idea.”
Using the term “help them understand” seemed to be infinitely more appropriate than Bloomberg’s approach, which included the phrase “forcing you to understand.”
Regardless of approach, de Blasio’s renewed push to ban large sodas ignores one very important bit of information – a study published in 2012 which explains that the link between sugary drinks and childhood obesity is “weak at best.”
Science aside, Bloomberg and de Blasio’s efforts to monitor your health, and by extension, take away your freedoms, are incredibly misguided. The government is well within their rights to educate people on the dangers of certain foods and drinks, but they’ve crossed a boundary when they enforce bans on those same items.
It is an affront to personal choice and liberty.