Mayors seek to limit use of food stamps to buy sugary drinks - KMSP-TV

No soda with food stamps?

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MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) -

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak has joined the mayors of 18 cities in an effort to halt food stamps from being used to purchase soda and other sugary drinks.

A letter to congressional leaders on Tuesday said it's "time to test and evaluate approaches limiting" the use of government subsidies for unhealthy beverages.

Last year, over 47 million Americans used food stamps.

In March, a judge struck down New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's efforts to limit the size of sugary drinks to 16 ounces at restaurants, theaters and food carts in New York City, but he hasn't halted his pursuit, and it was his office that released the letter.

"Why should we continue supporting unhealthy purchases in the false name of nutrition assistance?" Bloomberg said in a statement.

This isn't the first time Bloomberg has targeted food stamps: The U.S. Department of Agriculture also turned down his 2010 push.

The USDA declined to comment on Tuesday's letter. The American Beverage Association didn't immediately respond.

The Associated Press Contributed to this report.

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