Rep. Promises Federal Tax on Sugary Drinks
Plans to introduce proposal in next few weeks
WASHINGTON -- Expect a proposed federal tax on sugary drinks as the next attack on beverages, following on the heels of actions in New York and California.
U.S. Rep. Laura DeLauro, D-Conn., announced this past week that she is "working on legislation right now to tax sugar-sweetened drinks like sodas in a way that reflects the serious damage they are doing to our health. I hope to introduce legislation in a matter of weeks."
Speaking via video during the National Soda Summit held last week in Washington, DeLauro called sugary drinks "one of the biggest culprits of today's obesity and diabetes crises. Our food is being overloaded with added sugar. ... Many times it is the sugary foods and drinks that are the easiest for families living on the edge of poverty to afford. When a 2-liter cola is 99 cents and blueberries are over $3, something has gone very wrong."
DeLauro's sugar tax presumably would change that. "It is long past time that we pass and support policies that work toward better health," she said.
DeLauro's announcement comes just as a proposed ban of beverages larger than 16 ounces goes to court in New York City and the state of California considers placing warning labels on sugary drinks.
DeLauro called the effort part of her "work to develop federal legislation that responds meaningfully to the obesity and diabetes epidemics afflicting our country."
The second-annual National Soda Summit: Winning Strategies to Reduce Soda-Related Diseases was sponsored by the Center for Science in the Public Interest.