Saturday, December 07, 2013

A debate in NYC over soda policy

Heritage Radio Network has posted in full a debate Thursday night about the NYC soda policy proposals.

The debate had four participants:
  • I spoke gently in favor of New York City's effort to experiment with moderate policies to change the environment in which sugar sweetened beverages are marketed and sold.  I suggested that the Board of Health's proposed limit on sweetened beverage container sizes was not as radical as it has been portrayed. My 2-minute opening statement begins at 17:25.
  • Lisa Young, an author and adjunct professor at New York University, spoke strongly in favor of the proposal, using cups of various sizes as props to buttress her points.
  • J. Justin Wilson trashed the proposal on libertarian and free-market grounds.  Wilson represents the Center for Consumer Freedom, an industry-funded organization that runs ads calling NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg a nutrition nanny.
  • Joel Berg directs the New York City Coalition Against Hunger.  He appealed strongly for broader policies to address U.S. poverty and expressed his organization's intention to neither endorse nor oppose the beverage size limitation proposal.  Then, Berg livened the debate by launching into an enjoyably vivid and highly critical analysis of such paternalistic policies.
The event was organized by the Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD) and hosted by the New York City Food Policy Center at Hunter College.

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