Presentation on theme: "Comments of Keep Food Legal Opposing New York City’s Proposed Soda Ban Baylen J. Linnekin, B.A., M.A., J.D., LL.M. Executive Director, Keep Food Legal."— Presentation transcript:
Comments of Keep Food Legal Opposing New York City’s Proposed Soda Ban Baylen J. Linnekin, B.A., M.A., J.D., LL.M. Executive Director, Keep Food Legal http://www.keepfoodlegal.org/ New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene Public Hearing | July 24, 2012
Summary: Reasons We Oppose the Proposed Ban 1.It lacks a scientific justification or other rational basis 2.It would have negative intended and unintended consequences 3.It would restrict food freedom of choice 4.It faces widespread opposition from diverse cross section of experts, advocates, public intellectuals, & media 5.It would not achieve its stated goal
Lack of Scientific Support & No Rational Basis The proposed ban lacks scientific support –Will this ban improve the health of New Yorkers? Data show no rational basis for ban –Research cited as basis and purpose of ban in fact does not support ban’s main contention –DOHMH Health Bulletin: “New York City neighborhoods that report lower physical activity levels and less fruit and vegetable consumption have higher obesity rates.” –Sales of sugary sodas have declined as obesity rates rose –Sugary drinks make up nearly 40% fewer calories today thanks to popularity of diet drinks
(Un)intended Consequences Intended Consequences –New Yorkers will pay more in taxes Micro-level unintended consequences –People may drink more sugary drinks or switch to alcohol –People will spend more of their paychecks on sugary drinks –Small businesses will suffer Macro-level –Undermines legitimate public-health efforts –Environmental consequences The Unknown?
The Ban Would Restrict Food Freedom of Choice Support for the Ban –Mayor Bloomberg: Food choice not a “freedom.... that the Founding Fathers fought for” –Jamie Oliver: We can’t trust people to make their own choices –Dr. Weisberg: Ban raises “trivial issues of personal freedom” Opposition to the Ban –Thomas Jefferson Notes on the State of Virginia Declaration of Independence –James Madison Letters to Jefferson on “madness” of “despotic” food bans Bill of Rights
The Ban Faces Diverse and Widespread Opposition Just the usual suspects? –Impacted businesses –Opponents of nanny state Opposition is widespread –Media U.S. News, The Nation, Jon Stewart, Washington Post, New York Times, Slate, and others –New Yorkers and Americans “Rasmussen: 65 Percent Say No To NYC Large-Sugary Drink Ban” “In Quinnipiac poll, Staten Islanders say Bloomberg soda ban has no fizz”
The Ban Will Not Achieve Its Stated Goal Why this ban will fail –Bad science –Unintended consequences –Public opposition Are New Yorkers Healthier After... –...trans fat ban? –...compelled menu labeling? –...homeless feeding ban?
Conclusions Keep Food Legal members and supporters oppose the proposed soda ban Public health community rightly has no say in whether we exercise, proper bedtime, frequency or identity of sexual partners New Yorkers at their best when they’re most free Learn more at happy hour and “soda salon” at East Village’s Northern Spy Food Co. from 4-6 PM today
Thank You! Keep Food Legal “Promoting the right of every American to grow, raise, produce, buy, sell, share, cook, eat, and drink the foods of their own choosing." http://www.keepfoodlegal.org/ 3509 Connecticut Ave. NW, #1009 Washington, DC 20008 Phone: 202.594.3130 | Fax: 202.594.3129