Processing Magazine

Soda Industry Relieved by Soda Tax Fizzle

February 9, 2010
The Wall Street Journal reports the soft drink industry has successfully worked to smother a proposal to tax sugared beverages; a plan advocates said would have reduced obesity and helped finance health care reform. Only months ago, supporters of the soda tax saw it as an idea whose hour was near. But opponents questioned any link between sugary drinks and obesity. A key congressional committee ended up refusing to consider the issue. Several minority advocacy groups, including some committed to fighting obesity, lined up against the tax after years of receiving financial support from the industry. Meanwhile, beverage lobbyists attacked several nutrition scientists, accusing them of bias and distorting available evidence. The beverage industry also financed research that reached conclusions favorable to its position. The soft-drink industry is also waging a long-term war over the scientific evidence linking soda consumption to the nationwide epidemic of obesity.