NAACP joins lawsuit against NYC soda ban

By Samantha Kimmey
Friday, January 25, 2013 17:00 EDT
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A woman buys a bottle of soda in the Brooklyn borough of New York City in 2010. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said he plans to outlaw super-sized sugary drinks, in a ban cementing his reputation as one of America's hardest-driving policy makers on public health. (AFP Photo/Spencer Platt)
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One of the nation’s largest civil rights organizations is joining the fight against New York City’s ban on large sugary sodas — but both sides of the debate have been accused of catering to special interests.

The NAACP, along with a coalition of Hispanic organizations, is joining a lawsuit aiming to take down Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s ban on big sodas, reported the New York Daily News.

The organization claims the ban disproportionately hurts small, minority-owned local business because national chains are exempt. That’s because “they aren’t subject to city heath rules,” reported the Associated Press. Those looking for a bigger beverage will simply skip over local businesses and head to the nearest 7-11, NAACP logic goes.

“You can’t be serious about banning big sodas when you have a loophole for Big Gulps,” said the president of the the New York State Conference of the NAACP, Hazel Dukes, at a press conference.

The regulation stipulates that city businesses earning more than half of their revenue from the sale of sodas larger than 16 ounces are subject to the rule.

But advocates of the ban claim that soda companies have given the NAACP, as well as the Hispanic Foundation, hundreds of thousands of dollars, coloring their opposition to the law.

According to the Daily News, Bloomberg himself stated on his radio show on Friday, “How they can look themselves in a mirror knowing they are hurting deliberately the life expectancy and the quality of life for the people that they’re supposed to serve?”

[Image via AFP]

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