A group created by the American soft drink industry is fighting back against NYC Mayor Bloomberg’s latest Nanny State mandate: to ban sugar sodas larger than 16 ounces at restaurants, movie theaters and street carts. New Yorkers for Beverage Choices has been sending its message out across the city—including the local Regal/United Artists movie theater in Brooklyn Heights.
An article in The New York Times highlights efforts coordinated by the industry and several national movie theater chains in what is likely to be a major PR campaign against the ban’s insistence that adults cannot make their own decisions. On July 4th, an airborne banner flew along the Rockaways and Coney Island beaches, saying: “NO DRINK 4 U.” Likewise, at a Battery Park AMC movie theater, ushers, ticket-takers & concession workers wore T-shirts with the message, “I picked out my beverage all by myself.” And on the marquee outside the Regal Theater in Brooklyn Heights was a call to arms: “Say No to the NYC Ban.”
Bloomberg spokesman Stu Loeser insists the the city’s Board of Health “make(s) decisions about public health based on science.” That’s simply not true: All members of New York’s Board of Health are personally appointed by Mayor Bloomberg, insuring that the deck—and the vote—are stacked in his favor. Bloomberg’s latest war on fun looks to ban the sale of any cup or bottle of sweetened drink larger than 16 fluid ounces. The Board will vote on the mandate following a July 24 public hearing.
New Yorkers for Beverage Choices will continue its efforts, including high-flying airplane banners at area beaches again this weekend. And inside the Heights theater on Court Street, movie-goers can sign a petition against the mayor’s plan. Information cards and posters will also be displayed in United Artists and AMC venues. AMC spokesman Ryan Noonan notes, “We are bewildered by the proposal to choose an ineffective gimmick to address a critical health issue.”