Soda

Capitol Alert
By Jeremy B. White
jwhite@sacbee.com
April 12, 2016 – 3:27 PM

  • Latest setback for effort to limit sugary beverage consumption
  • Year after year, the campaign has met defeat in Sacramento

Elections come and go, legislative leaders rise and fall, but one constant remains in Sacramento: Soda taxes can’t get traction.

A bill to impose a two-cents-per-ounce tax on sugary beverages was pulled by its author ahead of its scheduled first committee vote on Tuesday, with Assemblyman Richard Bloom, D-Santa Monica, concluding he lacked the votes. Assembly Bill 2782 is likely done for the year, the latest setback for a protracted but largely unsuccessful public health campaign.

Citing soaring obesity and diabetes rates, public health officials and physicians call the ubiquity of sugary drinks a leading menace to healthy living. Many evoke battles against the tobacco industry in warning that beverage companies are concealing the risk of their product.

Year after year, that campaign has met defeat in Sacramento. Bills to tax soft drinks have repeatedly failed, as have efforts to label drinks with warnings of health hazards. On the local level, Davis recently rejected a soda tax push.

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