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Proposed NYC Food Stamp Soda Ban

Mayor Michael Bloomberg today proposed banning the use of food stamps to buy soda and other sugary drinks.

In his latest anti-obesity push, the mayor has requested permission from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to prevent federal food stamp benefits from being spent on sugar-filled drinks. He said today the move would “give New York families more money to spend on foods and drinks that provide real nourishment.”

Bloomberg contends that sugary soft drinks are a major source of the city’s rising diabetes rates, and has also tried — and failed — to impose a tax on sugary drinks.

But this time, the mayor’s proposal specifically puts low-income New Yorkers in the spotlight, which has left some with a bitter taste in their mouths. Joel Berg, executive director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, said poor people were being unfairly singled out.

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