Soda companies celebrate court decision on big drinks in NYC

Mayor Michael Bloomberg looks at a 64-ounce soda Mayor Michael Bloomberg looks at a 64-ounce soda cup that would have been banned had his effort to outlaw soft drinks larger than 16 ounces succeeded. The state appeals court announced Tuesday, July 30, 2013, that it struck down the ban. (March 12, 2013) Photo Credit: AP

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The soda companies won round two in their fight to stop Mayor Michael Bloomberg's ban on big sodas, but the mayor isn't throwing in the towel.

The state Supreme Court's appellate division Tuesday unanimously upheld the March ruling of state Supreme Court Justice Milton A. Tingling that struck down the city's proposed ban on large sugary drinks at locations that receive letter grades.

The four-judge panel agreed with Tingling that the city overstepped with the proposed law, which was set to take effect March 12.

"Such mechanism necessarily looks beyond health concerns, in that it manipulates choices to try to change consumer norms," the judges wrote.

Bloomberg, who pushed to prohibit sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces from restaurants and other establishments, vowed Tuesday to take the case to a higher court.

"It doesn't make you feel full and it doesn't give you the nutritional values, but it does give you calories," he said. "There is no question about this."

The American Beverage Association, which along with the NAACP and other groups filed a lawsuit challenging the law, agreed with the mayor's stance on obesity, but said he unnecessarily singled out sugary beverages as a leading cause of the epidemic.

"We look forward to collaborating with city leaders on solutions that will have a meaningful and lasting impact on the people of New York City," the group said in a statement.

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