The Duncan Banner

Community News Network

July 7, 2014

Nation's first soda tax could come to Berkeley

Berkeley, California, could become the first U.S. city to tax sugary drinks.

The Berkeley City Council unanimously decided last week to put the 1-cent-per-ounce tax on the ballot this November. Approving the tax would mean a major defeat for the soda industry, which has spent millions to crush the effort nationwide.

More than a dozen local groups, from the NAACP to the Berkeley Dental Society, have pledged support for the "Berkeley vs. Big Soda" campaign, which legislators have pitched as a public health and social justice issue.

"Big Soda will claim that we are attacking a product that is beloved by low-income folks," council member Laurie Capitelli said, "but those are the people who are coming to us and asking us to put this on the ballot."

The American Beverage Association, Coca Cola and PepsiCo have led the battle against soda taxes, spending more than $40 million in 2010 alone to combat the effort in Congress. The industry also spent aggressively to fight off proposed taxes in more than a dozen states.

Illinois last tried to approve the tax in May, with lawmakers predicting up to $400 million in new revenue. But the bill failed after intense pressure from the Illinois Manufacturers Association, which warned of job losses across the state.

Some researchers say they have found evidence that the soda tax could work. A study published last month by the American Journal of Agricultural Economics found that a 6-cent tax on a 12-ounce can of Coke or Pepsi would mean an average reduction of 5,800 calories per person every year.

But the American Beverage Association has cast doubt that the tax would affect the country's obesity epidemic. "Taxes don't make people healthy," the association's public affairs director, Chris Gindlesperger, told reporters.

Two other towns in California, El Monte and Richmond, have already rejected similar measures. But activists in Berkeley - the state's most liberal city - are optimistic.

California lawmakers have already targeted sugar as a health hazard. The state Senate approved a bill in May that would require safety warnings on beverages that contain more than 75 calories, though it has stalled in committee.

 

1
Text Only
Community News Network
  • Sunburn isn't the only sign of summer that can leave you itchy and blistered

    You've got a rash. You quickly rule out the usual suspects: You haven't been gardening or hiking or even picnicking, so it's probably not a plant irritant such as poison ivy or wild parsnip; likewise, it's probably not chiggers or ticks carrying Lyme disease; and you haven't been swimming in a pond, which can harbor the parasite that causes swimmer's itch.

    July 30, 2014

  • Survey results in legislation to battle sexual assault on campus

    Missouri U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill joined a bipartisan group of senators Wednesday to announce legislation that aims to reduce the number of sexual assaults on college campuses.

    July 30, 2014

  • An alarming threat to airlines that no one's talking about

    It's been an abysmal year for the flying public. Planes have crashed in bad weather, disappeared over the Indian Ocean and tragically crossed paths with anti-aircraft missiles over Ukraine.

    July 30, 2014

  • 20140729-AMX-GIVHAN292.jpg Spanx stretches into new territory with jeans, but promised magic is elusive

    The Spanx empire of stomach-flattening, thigh-slimming, jiggle-reducing foundation garments has expanded to include what the brand promises is the mother of all body-shaping miracles: Spanx jeans.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can black women have it all?

    In a powerful new essay for the National Journal, my friend Michel Martin makes a compelling case for why we need to continue the having-it-all conversation.

    July 29, 2014

  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • 'Rebel' mascot rising from the dead

    Students and alumni from a Richmond, Va.-area high school are seeking to revive the school's historic mascot, a Confederate soldier known as the "Rebel Man," spurring debate about the appropriateness of public school connections to the Civil War and its icons.

    July 28, 2014

  • How spy agencies keep their 'toys' from law enforcement

    A little over a decade ago, federal prosecutors used keystroke logging software to steal the encryption password of an alleged New Jersey mobster, Nicodemo Scarfo Jr., so they could get evidence from his computer to be used at his trial.

    July 25, 2014

  • Russia's war on McDonald's takes aim at the Filet-o-Fish

    Russia said earlier this week that it had no intention of answering Western sanctions by making it harder for Western companies to conduct business in Russia.
    But all bets are off, apparently, when you threaten the Russian waistline.

    July 25, 2014

  • cleaning supplies Don't judge mothers with messy homes

    I was building shelves in my garage when a neighbor girl, one of my 4-year-old daughter's friends, approached me and said, "I just saw in your house. It's pretty dirty. Norah's mommy needs to clean more."

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

Should the date for The World's Largest Garage Sale be changed from the third weekend in July to sometime in October to take advantage of cooler weather like we had this past weekend?

No. It's better in the summer cause kids are out of school.
Yes. More shoppers would come during nice fall weather.
Either time is fine.

     View Results
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.