City officials appeal ruling of large-soda ban
A judge's ruling that struck down Mayor Michael Bloomberg's top public health initiative -- a large-soda ban -- was appealed Tuesday by city officials.
Before the city announced the appeal of State Supreme Court Justice Milton Tingling's Monday ruling, Bloomberg said the judge who overturned the ban was "totally wrong" and he remained confident it will ultimately go into effect.
"This is the right thing to do," Bloomberg said at Lucky's Café in Murray Hill. "We will appeal the judge's decision on the ruling . . . and we are confident that we will win that."
The ban on sugary drinks, which was supposed to begin Tuesday, would require that any establishment that received a letter grade from the Health Department couldn't legally serve sugary drinks in containers larger than 16 ounces. Diet drinks, dairy products and alcohol would have been exempt.
Supermarkets would have been able to sell large drink containers since they are regulated by the state.
Tingling's decision was in response to a lawsuit filed by soda companies, the NAACP and other businesses. In his ruling, Tingling said parts of the ban were "arbitrary and capricious."
Bloomberg, who vowed to continue his fight against obesity once he leaves office, was joined by a group of politicians and health officials, including Montefiore Medical Center CEO Dr. Steven Safyer, who said that the Bronx has become the "epicenter" of obesity in the United States.
"Unfortunately, we have watched the Bronx . . . witness one of the worst epidemics we have ever faced," he said. "This is a tragedy."
Though the city filed its appeal Tuesday, Bloomberg said he had no idea how long it will take until it reaches a higher court and a decision can be made.