Berkeley, CA and Boulder, CO, are among a handful of America’s most liberal cities who’ve both often been accused of never having met a tax they did not like.

Berkeley two years ago became the first city in America to impose a regressive tax on sugary soda. On Jan. 1, Philadelphia becomes the second to begin soda tax collections.

votecheck_406x250In next Tuesday’s election, voters in Boulder, San Francisco, Oakland and Albany, CA. will decide if those jurisdictions will impose soda taxes.

The outcome of those elections may tell whether a policy mostly embraced in Mexico will find its legs in
Continue Reading Voters in four cities to decide on local soda taxes

CA-soda-warning_verticalCalifornia is having another run at adding warning labels to sugar-sweetened beverages, and New York is joining in. Last year, state Sen. Bill Monning (D-Carmel) introduced a bill requiring that any sweetened non-alcoholic beverage (carbonated or non-carbonated) that contains 75 calories or more per 12 fluid ounces be labeled with the words, “Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay.” The bill passed the Senate in June, but stalled in the Assembly Health Committee, falling three votes short of the 10 needed to pass. In February, Monning reintroduced his legislation in California, and New York Assemblyman
Continue Reading California, New York Lawmakers Propose Warning Labels for Soda

The city of Berkeley, CA became the first municipality in the country to approve a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages Tuesday. Measure D, a proposal to levy a 1-cent-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks and syrups, passed easily, with 75 percent of voters approving it. Only a 50 percent majority was needed to push the measure through. Meanwhile in San Francisco, the city’s much larger neighbor across the Bay, a proposal to charge 2 cents per ounce on sugary drinks failed to get the two-thirds majority it needed to pass. San Francisco’s pro-soda-tax coalition had decided to aim for the two-thirds
Continue Reading Berkeley Puts First Soda Tax on the Books

The national headline of Tuesday’s elections is that Republicans have taken control of the U.S. Senate. This shift means that Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will take over as Majority Leader for the 114th Congress and that Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS), who won a hotly contested race, will become Senate Agriculture Committee chairman. One of the greatest surprises of the night was the race for New York’s U.S. House District 25. Democratic incumbent Louise Slaughter was not expected to have any trouble defeating Republican challenger Mark Assini, but in the early hours of Wednesday morning, the outcome was still too close
Continue Reading Mixed Results For Food Issues in Midterm Elections

A coalition of more than 100 health organizations and individual experts have penned a letter asking for a U.S. Surgeon General’s report on sugary drinks, which many say are partly to blame for America’s obesity epidemic. Signatories, led by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) – a consumer advocacy group – called on Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius to direct Surgeon General Regina Benjamin to issue a report on sugar-sweetened beverages, to be used as a science-based reference on the health consequences of drinking these beverages. “The report would pave the way for policy
Continue Reading Health Groups Call on Surgeon General for Report on Sugary Drinks

Deja vous all over again? Last month, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed a controversial cap on sugary drink portion sizes. If the proposal is passed, sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces will no longer be able to be sold in the city’s restaurants, stadiums, food carts and movie theatres. Now, a so-called “grassroots” coalition called New Yorkers for Beverage Choices has sprung up to oppose the mayor’s measure. But an investigation by the Republic Report found that the coalition is entirely the creation of the American Beverage Association and its high-powered issue advocacy firm Goddard Gunster (formerly Goddard
Continue Reading The Masterminds Behind the Phony Anti-Soda Tax Coalitions