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New York Trying to Ban Food Stamps for Soft Drinks

May 1, 2011
Plain English Version

New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg wants to ban the use of food stamps for the purchase of “sugary” soft drinks. He is asking the federal government for permission.

The mayor believes the ban will reduce obesity and diabetes in youngsters.

The food and beverage industry opposes the plan. Some food stamp supporters also do not want to restrict the choices of consumers.

City officials estimate that food stamp users spend $75 million to $135 million in benefits on sugar-sweetened beverages each year.

“This program will give New York families more money to spend on foods and drinks that provide real nourishment,” Mr. Bloomberg said. Some observers said that families might use cash to buy soft drinks.

A spokesperson for the Agriculture Department, said the agency was reviewing New York’s proposal.

The New York Times


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