Health and justice nonprofits oppose sweetheart deal American Beverage Association seeks from California

The bill filed in California will prevent more cities from taxing unhealthy sugary drinks

June 26, 2018 Categories: Advisories & Comments, Program News

SACRAMENTO, June 26, 2018 — Today, more than 20 health and justice nonprofits banded together to oppose a bill the American Beverage Association seeks in California that would protect sugary drinks from local taxes. The group, led by the American Heart Association, includes American Cancer Society—Cancer Action Network, American Diabetes Association, Berkeley Media Studies Group, CA4Health, California Health Advocates, California Health Collaborative, California Hepatitis C Task Force, California Project LEAN, California School-Based Health Alliance, Center for Science in the Public Interest, ChangeLab Solutions, Cultiva La Salud, Healthy Food America, Latino Coalition for a Healthy California, MomsRising/MamasConPoder, National Alliance for Hispanic Health, Prevention Institute, Public Health Advocates, Public Health Institute and Roots of Change.

Following is the groups’ joint statement:

“California Senate Bill 872 is a gift to the beverage industry at the expense of kids, families and local control. This bill would prevent California residents and local elected officials from making decisions that are best for their communities. In bypassing city leaders, the bill prioritizes beverage industry profits over people’s health and cuts off potential revenue for critical programs.”

“Residents of Berkeley, San Francisco, Oakland and Albany voted to enact sugary drink taxes because overconsumption is robbing too many kids of a healthy future. In Berkeley, sales of taxed drinks declined, and sales of bottled water increased, while the food retail sector has enjoyed strong employment and economic growth. Across all four cities, millions of dollars in revenue from these taxes are funding a variety of programs in schools and communities.” 

“The beverage industry and its allies are desperate to pass SB 872 precisely because these popular taxes are working so well. With a growing number of communities from coast to coast recognizing the health and economic benefits these taxes provide, the beverage industry is now resorting to backroom deals and underhanded efforts to preserve its profits.”

“California is about progress. California is about leadership. California is about better health.

California is better than SB 872.”

“We call on all members of the California legislature and Governor Jerry Brown to oppose this bill and stand up for health, families and democracy.”

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About the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association

The American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association are devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. The American Stroke Association is a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1.800.AHA.USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For Media Inquiries:

National media, contact Suzette Harris, Suzette.Harris@heart.org, 214-706-1207

California media, contact Liam Connolly, Liam.Connolly@heart.org,  916-431-2331

For Public Inquiries: 800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org