The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Commends New York Court's Strike Down of Sugary Drinks Ban

WASHINGTON, April 5, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) commends New York state court's decision to block New York City's implementation of a ban on select sugar drinks exceeding 16 ounces in restaurants, fast-food eateries, movie theaters and stadiums.

The ruling, handed by Judge Milton Tingling, denounced the ban as "arbitrary and capricious" due to the unilateral decision of New York City's Board of Health to implement such an initiative. The court also found that the regulation was "laden with exceptions based on economic and political concerns" resulting from preferential loopholes for certain sugary drinks and retailers.

Judge Tingling's ruling prevented the ban from going into effect, which means the decision must be overruled by a higher court or advanced by the City Council in order for the ban to be implemented.

"The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is pleased with Judge Tingling's decision on the overreaching drinks ban, " said USHCC Chairman Marc Rodriguez. "The USHCC believes that combatting NYC's obesity challenges requires public education efforts, not regulation, in order to achieve long-lasting results."

Critics of the proposed ban argued proponents overstate the ban's effectiveness, citing a lack of credible data to support their view. A 2012 Cornell University health study on combatting obesity supported the concerns put forward by opponents of the ban. It found that consumers burdened with a 10% tax on soda purchased fewer soft drinks for about one month, but quickly returned to their baseline consumption levels after three to six months.

"Far-reaching regulations should not be imposed without a measurable impact, goal, or defined deadline," said USHCC President & CEO Javier Palomarez. "Ill-conceived initiatives serve neither to educate consumers nor improve their quality of life. Authorities should focus on programs that educate on the importance of exercise and healthy eating habits. Knee-jerk bans defeat the purpose of influencing healthier lifestyles in the long run."

About the USHCC

Founded in 1979, the USHCC actively promotes the economic growth and development of Hispanic entrepreneurs and represents the interests of over 3 million Hispanic-owned businesses across the United States that contribute in excess of $465 billion to the American

CONTACT: Valentina Pereda, USHCC Communications Manager
         202-735-7729
         vpereda@ushcc.com
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