Last week, Adam Brandon, president of FreedomWorks, echoed what consumers and small businesses have been saying for years, "soda taxes just don't work." They're unpopular, they fail small businesses, cost jobs and harm consumers. All without solving the problems they say they will.
In a piece published in The Washington Times, Brandon says, "Industry initiatives, unlike government solutions, actually produced meaningful change."
While the Philadelphia beverage tax is, "driving consumers out of the city" hurting small businesses in the process, beverage companies' voluntary School Beverage Guidelines provided meaningful change for students and parents. In the end reducing calories shipped to schools by 90 percent between 2004 and 2010 and "[leading] to the decline in consumption of added sugars by about 24 percent." Now that's real change.
Additionally, the ABA's Balance Calories Initiative is aimed at helping people decrease beverage calories and sugar in their diet. In fact, due to voluntary industry efforts, more than 60 percent of beverages sold today are low- or zero-calorie.
Because of these actions and others Brandon says soda taxes are, "bad policy and ... altogether unnecessary." He adds that governments should support the voluntary efforts of industry, instead of continuing to pass unpopular and ineffective beverage taxes.
To learn more about how America's beverage companies are helping in the fight against obesity and working to reduce the calories in consumers diets, visit BalanceUS.org.