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NYC Food Stamp Soda Ban Rejected

NEW YORK, Aug. 19 (UPI) — The U.S. Agriculture Department Friday rejected a plan to use New York as a test for banning the purchase of sugary drinks with food stamps.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed a two-year pilot program to see if the ban would reduce obesity rates among food stamp recipients, The New York Times reported.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the department wants to work with Bloomberg, but an official called a citywide ban “too large and complex” to be a good test of the plan.

“We think our innovative pilot would have done more to protect people from the crippling effects of preventable illnesses like diabetes and obesity than anything else being proposed elsewhere in this country — and at little or no cost to taxpayers,” Bloomberg said. “We’re disappointed that the federal government didn’t agree, and sorry that families and children may suffer from their unwillingness to explore our proposal. New York City will continue to pursue new and unconventional ways to combat the health problems that hurt New Yorkers and Americans from coast to coast.”

Bloomberg’s health measures have included smoking bans, most recently in public parks, and efforts to make restaurant meals more healthy by requiring nutritional and calorie information and banning transfats. Sugary sodas, sports drinks and fruit drinks are believed to be a major contributor to obesity.

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

Since 1907, United Press International (UPI) has been a leading provider of critical information to media outlets, businesses, governments and researchers worldwide.

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  • Virgil Fritz

    This is ridiculous, why should rich people have the right to drink soda but the poor must go without? It’s just another way to keep the poor in their place, and reduce their burden on the rich. It’s outrageous and an affront to our personal liberties. If you want to get fat and die it’s nobody’s business buy your own. It’s not a war on obesity, it’s a war on personal freedom! Next they’ll be banning eggs because the cholesterol adds to coronary artery disease. Please end this stupidity now. You do not have the right to tell other people how to live, poor or rich. Thank you, sincerely, Virgil Fritz.

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