SANTA FE - Santa Fe voters have narrowly rejected a 2 cent-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks that would have raised nearly $8 million for expanded pre-K.
Dr. Jim Krieger, executive director of Healthy Food America, issued this statement in response:
“Sugary drink taxes have passed in seven locales in the United States and more are on the way. We applaud Mayor Javier Gonzales, the City Council and the people of Santa Fe for their unwavering support for the city’s children and the health of their entire population and hope they succeed in funding the pre-K their children deserve. While this ballot measure was not successful, we know that sugary drink taxes will continue to grow in number across the nation and improve the public health of our country.
The deep-pocketed soda industry, once again, swept into a city trying to enact a sugary drink tax and worked overtime to derail the measure. In this case, the American Beverage Association and other sugary drink tax opponents spent at least $1.6 million to oppose a bill that would have funded pre-K for 966 low-income children in Santa Fe.
In the next few years, more and more cities will opt to recapture a fraction of the huge profits earned by the soda industry as it markets products that contribute to diabetes, obesity and heart disease. The successful taxes in Philadelphia and Berkeley are reducing sugary drink sales and producing greater than expected revenues that are being used to improve health and educational opportunities for some of the nation’s poorest children and communities.”
About Healthy Food America
Healthy Food America acts on science to drive change in policy and industry practice so that all people can live in places where nutritious food is easy to obtain and exposure to unhealthy products is limited. Chronic diseases caused by poor nutrition from unhealthy foods and beverages are the major causes of death and poor health in the U.S., including obesity, diabetes, heart and liver disease or tooth decay. Communities of color and low-income families are hardest hit by these preventable conditions. Poor nutrition is the largest contributor to all these diseases, driven by the pervasive presence and relentless marketing of junk food and beverages, especially to kids and the most vulnerable. We are coordinating with other advocates to energize a national movement to roll back added sugars in food and beverages to healthful levels. Please read more about our work at HealthyFoodAmerica.Org.