We previously reported that Mayor Bloomberg's on vending extra large sodas is of his usual cheerleaders—including Council Speaker Christine Quinn.
Now we've learned that Councilman Dan Halloran, R-Whitestone, and his colleague G. Oliver Koppell, D-Bronx, have gotten 12 of their fellow councilmembers to sign on to a letter blasting the proposal:
We write to express our strong objection to the proposal that would ban stores and restaurants from selling soda and other sugary drinks in sizes larger than 16 ounces. This proposal is a clear intrusion into the rights of New Yorkers and represents a situation where government regulation has gone too far.
While we are concerned about the health of all New Yorkers, it is not the role of the government to tell its citizens how much food or beverage they are allowed to consume. Soda is not inherently bad for you. Many responsible, healthy, New Yorkers choose to consume soda in moderate amounts on certain occasions such as at a movie or baseball game. Drinking a 20oz bottled soda with lunch is standard practice for many New Yorkers and does not necessarily reflect an unhealthy lifestyle.
The United States was founded on the principals of freedom. We are free to choose a church, we are free to speak publically, we are free to choose our government leaders and we are free to make decisions about our body. The government should not, and cannot, regulate what we choose to eat and drink. New York City needs to trust its citizens to make their own decisions.
Should the government mandate that vegetables be served with every meal, regulate the size of candy bars and pizza slices, or ban bars from serving any customer more than two drinks all under the pretense of protecting our health? It is not the role of the government to tell us how to live our lives and the City should not attempt to do so, especially without the approval of the people’s elected representatives in the Council.
We ask that you rescind this proposal and allow people to continue making their own decisions about how much soda they will drink. If you persist in pursuing this proposal, we insist that you put it before the Council for a vote.
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