California has taken a step back from banning soft drinks in schools, but the issue will return. A bill to phase out soda sales during school hours over five years died in committee yesterday, but its sponsor, State Senator Deborah Ortiz, promised to revive it next year. Ortiz had previously pushed an effort to impose a nine-cent tax on every two-liter bottle of soda sold in the Golden State.
Anti-consumer activists have revealed their plans to use school soda bans as a “wedge” issue meant to open up all sorts of foods and beverages to new government regulation and restriction. California is a key battleground, where the sponsor of a recently signed law that bans the sale of foods that do not meet arbitrary standards for fat and sugar content on elementary campuses vows to “remove junk foods from schools in the next four years.” (Eleven other states — Hawaii, Minnesota, Virginia, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wisconsin — have also considered or passed some sort of restriction on soft drink sales in schools.)