by Marion Nestle
Jul 31 2014

Rep. Rosa de Lauro introduces the SWEET soda tax act!

Yesterday, the fabulous Representative Rosa DeLauro (Dem_CT) introduced the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Tax Act of 2014 (SWEET Act).  Here’s a quick summary of the bill. The SWEET Act (you have to love the name) would put an excise tax of one cent per teaspoon of sugars (a teaspoon is about 4 grams). The bill is clearly aimed at sugary drinks, which account for about half of total sugar intake.  According to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines (page 29),

  • Sodas, energy, and sports drinks account for 35.7% of total sugars
  • Fruit drinks—a category that does not include 100% juices—account for another 10.5%.
  • Sugar-sweetened teas account for 3.5%.

The tax ought to raise about $10 billion a year, and is earmarked for programs to combat soda-related disease. It also ought to further reduce consumption of sugary drinks, as is already happening in Mexico. If you would like to endorse this legislation, contact in Representative DeLauro’s office. References


  • TR

    Probably a better way to reduce consumption than limiting portion sizes like the NYC experiment. If people insist on ruining their health by over consuming sugar sweetened beverages, then make them pay for it! Yet, it’ll be no surprise who will be against the SWEET Act. It will be interesting though to see what arguements the opponents will put forth about how the SWEET Act will “destroy our democracy”, “kill our economy” or whatever… Although, I hope that the SWEET Act won’t be just about beverages but will also address the sugar content of all foods. Peanut Butter and Bread do not need sugar. That’s what jelly is for.

  • BOKinLarksville

    I’m sure a lot of this money will disappear into the pockets of our Honest and trusted politicians.. While the idea is grand, the execution will surely be “government-esque”.. Instead, just do this.. END Sugar subsidies!!! read this..

  • Keely

    How about we just quit using our tax dollars to subsidize big ag growing and producing all corn for high fructose corn syrup. And let people pay the true price of soda pop. Rather than pay taxes to make cheap soda pop and then tax the soda pop too.

  • Chelsea

    What we really need is a tax on intrusive stupid opinions. That would put the touch on mostly affluent busybodies like Mark Bittman, Marion Nestle, Michael Pollan, etc., etc., etc. We could tax these overpaid fools enough to really do something constructive for the teeming unwashed masses.

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  • TR

    Looks like you are volunteering to be taxed by your own tax.

  • GB

    Isn’t it just like The Anointed in DC to impose a tax on something they already use our tax dollars to subsidize to make it cheaper? I agree, eliminate the corn subsidies and sugar price supports, let’s make sweeteners come to true market price, and then maybe let’s hear about why we need the government to protect us from ourselves and how much better off we’d be in the nanny state.

  • Dave

    I can see these beverage companies come out with products you add your own sweetnet to. We could go a step further and tax meat as it is bad for your health overall and the process of raising livestock contribute to global warming/climate change. I haven’t eaten meat is over 39 years, so it is possible. Or we could just let people eat and drink what they want without taxing the heck out everything.