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September 18, 2009

Begun These Soda Wars Have

To read the news, it would look like soda taxes are just around the corner. First, President Obama mildly suggested in an interview in Men's Health that soda taxes were worth some consideration. Then Obamafoodorama broke the news of Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent's reaction to said soda tax:

"I have never seen it work where a government tells people what to eat and what to drink,"’ Kent said. "If it worked, the Soviet Union would still be around." Kent also called the soda tax "outrageous."

Whew. The man is pissed. That's probably why Coke is one of the companies behind the full-page ad in the Washington Post by a new junk food industry astroturf group designed to combat junk food taxes. More from Ob Fo:

The ad… was in the A section of the Washington Post on Sunday, part of a new campaign that lobby group Americans Against Food Taxes is running to fight taxation of soda and sugary beverages, although the plea is "don't tax our groceries." Coca Cola funds the group, as does Pepsi Cola, Dr. Pepper, Canada Dry, McDonald's, Jack in the Box, among others.

And now the NYT has jumped in to the debate with an article which mostly echoes Ob Fo in the particulars. One twist that the NYT adds, however, is the fact that a penny per ounce federal tax on soda would raise $14.8 billion in its first year--that's a lot of money.

READ THE REST OF THIS POST ON GRIST

Photo by trekkyandy used under a CC license

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