News Releases & Statements
American Beverage Association Statement on New York State Senate Hearing on Soft Drink Tax
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ABA Press Office
AMERICAN BEVERAGE ASSOCIATION STATEMENT ON NEW YORK STATE SENATE HEARING ON SOFT DRINK TAX
In response to a hearing being held by the New York State Senate Standing Committee on Health today, the American Beverage Association issued the following statement:
"Obesity is a complex issue that will not be resolved by placing a tax on beverages. If New York legislators want to make a dent in the waistlines of New Yorkers, they should seek comprehensive approaches that will have a meaningful and lasting impact, rather than sound bite solutions.
National Cancer Institute data show that sugar-sweetened beverages account for only 5.5 percent of the average person's diet, so 94.5 percent of calories come from other foods and beverages. Thus, uniquely taxing beverages that account for such a small portion of the daily diet looks more like a money grab at the expense of hard-working families than sound public policy.
Science shows that, when it comes to tackling obesity, what matters most is balancing the calories from all the foods and beverages we eat and drink with those we burn through regular physical activity. These are the keys to living a balanced lifestyle - something the beverage industry supports and encourages by helping consumers make appropriate choices by providing easy access to calorie and nutrition information, promoting physical activity and product innovation.
The beverage industry is producing more good-tasting, lower-calorie choices. And consumers are availing themselves of them. In fact, since 1998, there has been a 21 percent reduction in calories in beverages in the marketplace.
The beverage industry is committed to doing its part to help reduce childhood obesity. Beginning in 2006, America's leading beverage companies have worked to voluntarily remove full-calorie soft drinks from all schools, replacing them with lower-calorie, nutritious and smaller-portion beverages. Through these efforts, beverage calories shipped to schools have been reduced by nearly 60 percent.
Further, the beverage industry is concerned about the recent proposal from the Governor of New York to implement a tax on soft drinks - similar to what was overwhelmingly rejected just last year - to make up for the state's budget shortfall. We appreciate the budget challenges facing the state and are willing to pay our fair share, but there should be ways to address the budget deficit without reaching into the grocery carts of already struggling families or putting thousands of well-paying, New York jobs at risk."
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