Today the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) criticized Senator Bill Monning’s (D-Carmel) recently proposed legislation, SB 622, which would place an additional one-cent-per-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages.
Senator Monning’s proposal to add an additional tax to sugar-sweetened beverages is absurdly misguided when it comes to promoting weight loss. Study after study has demonstrated that soda is not a unique contributor to obesity. In fact, a recent analysis by the National Cancer Institute found that soft drink intake actually accounts for less than seven percent of the average person’s daily calories.
“Taxes shouldn’t be a tool for social engineering or an instrument to penalize Californians for doing nothing wrong,” said J. Justin Wilson, Senior Research Analyst at the Center for Consumer Freedom. “Residents of California don’t need a Ph.D. in Nutrition to tell them that eating or drinking too much of anything is unhealthy; it only takes a little common sense and personal responsibility.”
While the soda tax may enlarge California’s government coffers, it won’t slim down residents of the Golden State. And promises that tax revenues will go only towards a health promotion fund should be met with skepticism. The author of a recent soda tax study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine determined that people would likely switch to untaxed beverages with the same amount of calories such as whole milk or fruit juice, leaving a soda tax as primarily a money-making exercise for the government.
“Sugar-sweetened beverages are no more fattening than any other food with calories,” Wilson continued. “It’s only the overconsumption of calories, whether from soda or other foods and drinks, that leads people to put on extra pounds.”
For more information, visit www.ConsumerFreedom.com. To arrange an interview, call Allison Miller at 202-463-7112.
The Center for Consumer Freedom is a nonprofit coalition supported by restaurants, food companies, and consumers, working together to promote personal responsibility and protect consumer choices.