by Marion Nestle
Oct 11 2012

Big Soda vs. Richmond City Council

The latest disclosure figures show that Big Soda, in the guise of a community coalition, has spent $2.2 million to defeat the Richmond, CA soda tax initiative in November.

The pro-tax group report spending $25,293 so far.

This means Big Soda is outspending public health advocacy by 87 to 1—along with filing a successful lawsuit to keep from having to disclose its funding of the “community coalition.”

I can think of lots of good things Big Soda could do with that money in this community, none of them having to do with selling more soda.

David vs. Goliath on the November ballot?


  • Russ
  • October 11, 2012
  • 12:33 pm

I’ve been seeing a lot of Monsanto ads against prop 37 in SF, I wonder how much they’re spending trying to defeat it?

  • KE
  • October 11, 2012
  • 1:18 pm

Wow. 2.2 million to defeat an initiative in one city.

Makes me think about what they spend in order to defeat nation-wide initiatives that could hurt the soda industry.

  • Tom Meixner
  • October 11, 2012
  • 6:46 pm

How do I give money to the folks fighting for the tax?

If the county Government needs the money that is one thing. but I am 6’5″ tall and 205 lbs, I like to drink soda why should I be taxed because others think that others drink too much soda.

  • Joe
  • October 12, 2012
  • 1:10 pm

Maybe Floccina is on to something. Perhaps the tax should be BMI based and the higher your BMI is the higher tax you would pay. That way those people who are not affected by the high sugar drinks or other “bad” foods could live without the threat of government intervention where it is not warranted and it would incentivise the obsese to become thin.

  • Diana
  • October 12, 2012
  • 1:25 pm

@Joe Haha.

Floccina’s comments could easily apply to cigarettes as well, but those taxes are here to stay. Why would soda be any different?

  • Jenny
  • October 19, 2012
  • 4:27 pm

To answer Tom’s question, you can send checks of any amount to
Richmond Fit for Life
1021 Macdonald Avenue
Richmond, CA 94801

Thanks, Marian, for your post.

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