Even the best comedians around couldn’t come up with material that seems more farcical. The proposed ban on large sugary drinks has sent at least one group of people into enough of a tizzy that they’ve created the organization called New Yorkers for Beverage Choice. This powerful group, backed by the beverage industry lobby group, unleashed its powers on unsuspecting Brooklyn residents this weekend.
Those who were at the beach on Coney Island saw dozens of activists walking on the sand encouraging people to make their own choice; similarly, a banner-carrying plane overhead advertised “No Drinks for U! New Yorkers for Beverage Choice” at the Coney Island Beach and the Rockaway beaches over the weekend and during the 4th of July. They also gathered at the United Artists Theater with clipboards and t-shirts that said, “I picked out my beverage all by myself.” There were pro-soda ads shows before every film as well.
The New Yorkers for Beverage Choice have a few main goals. They want people to understand that they should be standing up for their freedom and individual rights. They want people to sign petitions and to submit comments to the Board of Health and they want to make sure that the opposition to the ban on drinks is heard.
As the New Yorkers for Beverage Choice explain on their website,
“New Yorkers for Beverage Choices is made up of individuals, businesses, and community organizations–and we are growing in numbers! We believe New York City residents and visitors should have the right to buy beverages in any size they choose.”
Similarly, the American Beverage Association explains its support for the New Yorkers for Beverage Choices in its website. As it states,
“From Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed soda ban or a call by one advocacy group for a Surgeon General report, one thing is clear: the more some distract us from meaningful and comprehensive solutions that will have a real impact on reducing (and perhaps preventing) obesity, the more society will suffer in the long run.”
After a public hearing on July 24th, the city’s Board of Health will make a decision about whether or not to endorse Bloomberg’s proposal.