Mississippi to Cities: No Banning Sodas

'Anti-Bloomberg bill' will stop counties passing their own NYC-style food laws

By Ruth Brown,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 13, 2013 9:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – You're going to have to pry 22-ounce sodas from Mississippians' chubby, dead hands, because the most obese state in the union has passed a bill to ban its towns and counties from regulating portion sizes, requiring posted calorie counts, or yanking toys from kids' meals, reports NPR. In a direct response to New York City's recently quashed attempt to cap soda sizes, the "anti-Bloomberg bill" will restrict the regulation of "consumer incentive items and nutrition labeling" to the state legislature alone. The Republican governor is expected to sign it. (Bloomberg himself tells CBS that the Mississippi legislation is a "farce.")

But this latest shot fired in the soda wars has some Mississippians grumbling about the freedom for small towns to set their own health policies. "They're just using this to mask what the bill is really about, which is about taking away home rule," complains one mayor, who has no love for the Bloomberg bill or the Mississippi bill. "If little Alligator, Mississippi, wanted to do that, that's up to the people that live there. It is not up to the state to tell the people at the local level what to do."

Mississippi's "Anti-Bloomberg Bill" will restrict towns and counties from regulating nutrition labeling.   (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)
Sugar-sweetened drinks are displayed at a store on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013 in Montpelier, Vt.   (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)
A new Mississippi bill defends the Double Gulp.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
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