Berkeley, Calif., became the first U.S. city to pass a law taxing sugary drinks including sodas. This is step in the right direction against diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and other sugar-related diseases!
The city of Berkeley, Calif., passed a one cent per ounce tax on soda and other sugary drinks. And it wasn’t even close: More than three-quarters of Berkeley voters supported this public health measure.
And, in nearby San Francisco, a solid majority—55 percent—supported an even higher tax on soda of two cents per ounce. However, the measure required a two-thirds super-majority. But it surely sent a shudder up the spine of Big Soda, which outspent San Francisco advocates 30 to 1.
It is expected that cities, counties, and state legislatures all over the country will now see how they can make a dent in soda-related diseases AND raise money for desperately needed health programs.
Other cities have tried to pass soda taxes but have failed in the face of well-funded opposition from soda manufacturers. Notably, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s attempted ban on large-size sugary beverage.
Interestingly, a $10 million opposition campaign in Berkeley and San Francisco was funded by soft-drink manufacturers. So, to me, that says this vote mattered!