Thursday, October 07, 2010
NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg Wants Ban on Food Stamp Use for Soft Drinks
In New York they call it "soda," not pop, not a soft drink. Call it what you like, if Mayor Michael Bloomberg gets his way, NYC residents won't be able to use food stamps to buy their favorite carbonated beverages or other sugared drinks.
The request, made Wednesday to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, would apply to 1.7 million food stamp recipients in the city's five boroughs. It's part of a nutrition push by the mayor that also includes advertisements, rules for food sold in schools and a failed bid to get a state tax on sugared drinks, the New York Times reports.
Bloomberg said his proposal would attack obesity and diabetes by giving "New York families more [food stamp] money to spend on foods and drinks that provide real nourishment."
But why single out low-income folks for a restrictive plan that libertarians, at least, would call social engineering? "The world would be better, I think, if people limited their purchases of sugared beverages," said George Hacker of the Center for Science in the Public Interest. "However, there are a great many ethical reasons to consider why one would not want to stigmatize people on food stamps."