Fight for soda ban continues in NYC, what about Philly?

FILE - In this May 31, 2012 file photo, a man leaves a 7-Eleven store with a Double Gulp drink, in New York. Opponents of the city’s limit on the size of sugary drinks are are raising questions of racial fairness alongside other complaints as the novel restriction faces a court test. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

A New York Supreme Court judge pumped the brakes on Mayor Michael Bloomberg's ban on large sodas just hours before the law was set to go into effect.

Judge Milton Tingling said the ban was "fraught with arbitrary and capricious consequences." The beverage industry called the ruling a victory. Bloomberg has vowed to appeal.

And the beverage industry here in Philadelphia can breathe a sigh of relief, for now.

Following a news conference on a separate matter, Mayor Nutter said he would not include a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages in his budget proposal which he will present to City Council on Thursday. But, he has not ruled out taking a crack at it later down the road.

"You cannot escape the fact that the empty calories in soda are a contributor and a contributing factor to the issue of obesity, which Mayor Bloomberg and myself and many, many others are very focused on," Nutter said. "It's about health and in many instances obesity is literally killing people and damaging the quality of their life."

Nutter tried his luck twice with a soda tax and Council balked both times.

But Nutter said a soda tax is "still a very valid idea" and a "valid public policy proposal."

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