Intro Editorial: Given that Pepsi has already determined they WILL take steps to remove sugar from their product line, one can make a strong case that Senator Florez, simply by introducing the soda tax legislation in California, has already had a positive impact for the nations consumers. This one act by a responsive corporation translates into less youth with diabetes and that translates into adult lives saved or extended in the long run. Others would do well to follow Pepsi’s lead.
SACRAMENTO – Senate Majority Leader Dean Florez (D-Shafter) today applauded Pepsi Company’s announcement that it is working to develop new, non-caloric, natural sweeteners in response to expected new taxes on soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages.
Florez, the author of California Senate Bill 1210, is calling on the soda giant’s competitors to follow suit if they want to keep up with consumer trends and issued the following statement:
“I appreciate the fact that Pepsi is trying to move in the right direction by developing new low-calorie drinks. Certainly the threat of new taxes on sugary drinks is having an effect and is changing corporate behavior. It seems they realize that the handwriting is on the wall.”
“Sugary soft drinks play a large role in the increase in childhood obesity and diabetes that we face in our state and nation. It’s important that we keep the pressure on, that we not retreat from moving the soft drink industry away from added sugars, and that we continue with legislative efforts like SB 1210 to provide funding for obesity prevention programs for the benefit of next generation.”
Tuesday’s Associated Press article on Pepsi’s announcement can be found at: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36006288/ns/business-consumer_news/
SB 1210 would tax added sugar in soda and other soft drinks at one penny per teaspoon of sugar, with the funds earmarked for childhood obesity prevention programs such as physical education and nutrition programs in schools. The bill would raise $1.5 billion per year in California, helping to offset some of the $41 billion in health care costs attributed each year to obesity and diabetes in the state.