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Yahoo News has a story about how Starbucks is disregarding the New York City law, scheduled to go into effect next week, that prohibits certain kinds of retailers from selling sugared drinks larger than 16 ounces.

Starbucks says that there is still enough confusion about who and what are covered by the ban that it will not comply with the law, which has been promoted by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his administration as a way of addressing the obesity crisis, and decried by opponents as being reflective of a nanny state.

“We believe that the majority of our products fall outside of the ban given the ability of our customers to customize their beverage,” Starbucks said in a prepared statement. “As there is still ongoing litigation regarding the regulation, we’re not making any immediate changes at this time. We are evaluating which changes we may need to make to our recipes and product offerings and will be using this three-month evaluation period to make the appropriate changes for our customers and to fully comply with the new beverage restrictions.”

The story notes that "opponents of the law, including the American Beverage Association, National Association of Theatre Owners, the National Restaurant Association and other trade groups, have filed a lawsuit asking for it to be thrown out, in part because it creates an uneven playing field for businesses. For example, while restaurants and delis regulated by the city Health Department are banned from selling large sugary drinks, a customer can still buy a 32-ounce Big Gulp at 7-Eleven because the store is regulated as a market by the state of New York, not by the city."

Yahoo News also reports that "as opponents of the law continue to press forward with a lawsuit aiming to stop the ban from going into effect, some businesses have started to pre-emptively warn their customers of changes in their menu.

"Earlier this week, Dunkin' Donuts began displaying signs in some locations telling customers they will now be responsible for adding cream and sugar to their own drinks. Other beverages, like iced coffees, would be sold only in small and medium size, the chain announced ... A spokeswoman for McDonald’s restaurants told Yahoo News its locations will comply with the law by selling only 16-ounce fountain sizes of sugary drinks beginning next week."

NYC officials have said that while the regulations go into effect next week, for three months violators will get off with a warning, with fines scheduled to be levied beginning in June.
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