School districts serving Philadelphia, Baltimore and Las Vegas joined the Urban School Food Alliance, which now serves 3.6 million students in 10 of the largest U.S. districts with a combined $735 million a year in purchases of food and supplies. The alliance launched a procurement initiative in 2014 for antibiotic-free chicken, and said this year that its members would not relax school lunch standards despite a USDA offer of flexibility on salt and whole grains.
Sales tax data indicate that soda consumption in Philadelphia was down by about 40 percent in January, the first month that the 1.5-cent-an-ounce tax was in effect, says news site Billy Penn. The actual figure may be different, it says, because the tax is levied on sales by distributors, who …
The newest locality to approve a tax on sugary beverages is also the largest — Cook County, home to 5.2 million people including the city of Chicago. The Cook County Board approved the 1-cent-per-ounce tax on a 9-8 vote with board president Toni Preckwinkle breaking a tie, said the Chicago Tribune.
The grassroots can beat Big Soda, says Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney in an interview about the City Council vote during the summer to put a 1.5-cent-per-ounce tax on soda and sugary beverages. "Don't be afraid of Big Soda. They are not that tough," Kenney told Vox.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders told a soda industry group, in the form of a cease-and-desist letter, to stop using him in its campaign against soda taxes in California's Bay Area, says Politico. Sanders says he has not taken a position on referendums in San Francisco and Oakland and it is "false" and "misleading" for the American Beverage Association to feature him in advertising.
The president of the Cook County Board proposed a 1-cent-per-ounce tax on sugary beverages — soft drinks, sports and energy drinks, and juices that aren't 100 percent fruit — to close a $174-million budget gap in the county that includes Chicago and 40 percent of Illinoisans. Like Philadelphia Mayor James Kenney, board president Toni Preckwinkle says the levy is fiscal tool.
Voters in San Francisco will decide on Nov. 8 whether to put a 1-cent-an-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages and to join neighboring Berkeley and Philadelphia as soda-tax cities. It would be the second ballot in two years on a soda tax in San Francisco with the new proposal having an easier path to passage.
By a decisive 13-4 vote, the City Council in Philadelphia approved a 1.5-cent per ounce tax on sugary beverages and diet sodas. Mayor Jim Kenney presented the tax as a way to raise revenue for schools and recreation centers, unlike the public health arguments which succeeded in Berkeley in 2014 and are being used ahead of votes in Oakland, San Francisco and Boulder this year.
In a first-round vote, the Philadelphia City Council voted for a 1.5-cent-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks and diet sodas. Council members must approve the levy for a second time next Thursday to become the second city in the country with a soda tax, "but it appears they have reached the final deal," said Philadelphia Magazine.
Mexico's 10-percent tax on sugary drinks put a dent in soda sales at first, but purchases are on the rise again, "making the country a key growth market again for soda giants Coca-Cola and PepsiCo," says the Wall Street Journal. In a country with the highest per-capita soda consumption rate in the world, the tax was a public health measure aimed at high levels of obesity and diabetes.
Campaigning ahead of Tuesday's primary election in Pennsylvania, Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton said "I'm very supportive" of the 3-cent-an-ounce soda tax proposed by Mayor Jim Kenney, reported CNN.
Soda-taxes aren’t just an idea that liberals like, says Quartz. The soft drink industry is facing at least 12 soda tax initiatives on ballots across the country, including in places that don’t lean nearly as far left as Berkeley, California,