Pro-tax advocates and lawmakers often sell soda taxes under the false promise that they will have an impact on public health issues. Geoff Parker, CEO of the Australian Beverages Council, recently laid out what happens when these taxes take effect and the real world implications they have.
Parker explains that according to a study from Autonomous University of Nuevo Leon, when it comes to Mexico’s soda tax, “the UANL study estimates that approximately 10,000 jobs have been lost as a result of the tax's introduction.”
He goes on to note that in the case of a similar tax in Denmark, “not only did it cost jobs, promote cross-border shopping and provide an administrative nightmare to enforce, it had no discernible impact on public health. In addition to it being scrapped, the Government also binned future taxes like a soft drink tax.”
Parker is right; if lawmakers and others want to get serious about addressing public health issues, like obesity, it starts with education, not discriminatory regulations like taxes. That’s why America’s beverage companies are doing their part. We have set a goal, through our Balance Calories Initiative, to reduce calories and sugar from beverages in the American diet. And we are using our marketing, innovation and distribution strengths to bring consumers the options and information they need to choose the option that best fits their day.