Plan to Ban Food Stamps for Sodas Has Hurdles

October 8, 2010  |  

(NYT) — Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg may face legal and political hurdles in carrying out his ambitious plan to bar food-stamp recipients from using their benefits to buy sugar-sweetened drinks, food policy experts said Thursday.

New York City on Wednesday asked the United States Department of Agriculture for permission to conduct a two-year experiment barring the city’s 1.7 million users of food stamps from spending them on soda and other beverages with added sugar. But experts said that the Agriculture Department lacked the authority to grant such permission, and that the proposal would require Congress to change laws governing the food-stamp program.

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