I’m keynoting the workship on Food, Ethics, Politics at 4:00 with a reception to follow. My talk, “”Food, Ethics, Politics: The View from 2022,” will be in the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, Maeder Hall, Room 002. This event is part of the University Center for Human Values (UCHV) Conferences, Workshops & Special Events. To register to attend, click here.
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 Kelly.Horton@mail.house.gov in Representative DeLauro’s office. References
- DeLauro Press Release
- CSPI’s Press Release
- Mark Bittman’s July 30 discussion of the bill in the New York Times
- The Prevention Institute’s endorsement
- Reuters’ report
- Food-Navigator.com’s report
- The Hill’s story plus video
- The American Beverage Association statement