Tuesday, September 01, 2015
New York’s soda ban could be back for kids only
If ever a public policy belonged in this space, it was the misguided and ultimately futile attempt by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to ban large sodas.
The ban on sugary drinks sold in containers of more than 16 ounces became law in 2012, and a judge killed it a few months later.
The soda ban was the perfect example of nanny state-ism: an arbitrary limitation on personal behavior under the assumption state power should be used to improve people’s freedom to make choices. The ban ultimately accomplished nothing. You could, after all, buy two 16-ounce sodas instead of one 32-ounce soda, all the while sticking taxpayers with the legal bill for trying to defend the policy in court.
Now it could be coming back.
New York State Assemblyman Matthew Titone, D-Staten Island, has proposed legislation that would ban the sale of sugary drinks 16 ounces or larger to minors across the state.
That means, yes, you’d have to show ID before buying a bottle of cola.
Though minors couldn’t buy soda on their own, adults could do it for them, Titone told reporters when he announced the bill.
“If the adult buys it for the minor, that’s fine. That’s a parent or a guardian making an informed decision,” Titone said, according to reports from CBS-2 in New York. “We allow children to see G-rated movies on their own, but they can’t see R-rated movies on their own. It’s the same concept,” he said.
Titone’s bill would require a warning label on sugary food and drink, informing consumers about the dangers of processed sugars.
Aside from scoring the lawmaker some headlines, it’s a laughably bad idea.
For starters, the bill — if it becomes law, which you’d assume is a big “if” in most states, but not in New York, where nanny state policies are commonplace — will run up against the same legal problems as Bloomberg’s attempted ban.