The beverage industry’s deep-pocketed campaign against sugary drink taxes crumbled last night as soda tax ballot measures passed handily in four U.S. cities.
In California, San Francisco’s Measure V passed with 61.87% of the vote, Oakland’s Measure HH received a winning 60.75% of the vote, and, Albany’s Measure O1 was approved with 70.67% support. All three California measures will tax sugary drinks at a penny-per-ounce.
Voters also approved a fourth soda tax measure, 2H, on the ballot in Boulder, Colorado with an unofficial 54.01% of the vote. The Boulder tax will be the largest of the four, adding two-cents-per-ounce to a variety of sugary beverages.
“This is an astonishing repudiation of Big Soda,” said Jim Krieger, MD, MPH, the executive director of Healthy Food America. “For too long, the big soda companies got away with putting profits over their customers’ health.”
The American Beverage Association, which coordinated anti-soda tax campaigns in all four cities on behalf of industry giants like Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Dr. Pepper-Snapple, issued a statement after the losses became clear:
“We respect the decision of voters in these cities. Our energy remains squarely focused on reducing the sugar consumed from beverages – engaging with prominent public health and community organizations to change behavior.”
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