(AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Lobbyists from major soda companies have been stopping New Yorkers on the street to sign “say no to #sodaban” petitions. On June 20th, the New York Times reported all the companies that oppose the mayor’s plan met with four members of the City Council’s Black, Latino and Asian Caucus. Some feel the soft-drink industry is specifically targeting minority groups. New York Times reports:

Lobbyists from Coca-Cola and other big soda companies have met with mayoral candidates and City Council members. Canvassers hired by the beverage industry are stopping New Yorkers on the street to solicit signatures on petitions. Facebook and Twitter pages tell readers to “say no to a #sodaban.”

Confronting a high-profile attack on its fizzy products, the American soft-drink industry is beginning an aggressive campaign to fight New York City’s proposed restrictions on large servings of sugary drinks.

Hoping for a debate about freedom, not fatness, the industry has created a coalition called New Yorkers for Beverage Choices to coordinate its public relations efforts in the city. On Thursday, the group introduced its first radio spot, a one-minute advertisement featuring “Noo Yawk”-accented actors proclaiming, “This is about protecting our freedom of choice.”

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