11:00 AM EDT, March 23, 2013
Your editorial about a recent court decision invalidating the so-called "soda ban" in New York City ("Bloomberg loses the soda battle, not the war," March 12, 2013) offered an incomplete explanation of why the judge ruled the ban "arbitrary and capricious." The judge referred to "loopholes," which you addressed, but that only tells part of the story. The judge also stated, "it excludes other beverages that have significantly higher concentrations of sugar sweeteners and/or calories on suspect grounds."
Singling out a 20-ounce bottle of soda while ignoring the calories in a cheeseburger and fries, for example, which are at least four times that of a soda, is the very definition of arbitrary. The National Institutes for Health say inactivity, environment, genetics, health conditions, medicines, emotional factors and age are among the causes of obesity. It's a complex health issue without a simple solution. Banning soft drinks for the sake of legacy is nothing short of capricious.
Ellen Valentino, Baltimore
The writer is executive vice president of the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Beverage Association.
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