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Berkeley Succeeds In Passing First Soda Tax

But another California city, San Francisco, saw its proposed law to tax sugary beverages go down in defeat.

The American Beverage Association spent around $11 million dollars in an effort to beat both San Fransisco's and Berkeley's soda tax measures.

Two soda taxes appeared on Tuesday’s ballot — one in San Francisco, and one in Berkeley. Come Wednesday morning, only one measure had passed.

Berkeley passed a one cent-per-ounce tax on sugary beverages by a landslide 75 percent. The San Francisco measure received a majority vote, but because it laid out where the taxes would be spent, it needed a two-thirds vote to pass.

Some viewed the passage of Berkeley’s soda tax as a victory and a sign of things to come. Marion Nestle compiled several responses that were hopeful Berkeley would set the stage for a nationwide change.

Others are more skeptical that Berkeley — a small, liberal town with a major university — will actually be representative of the rest of the country.

There is some evidence that taxation of unhealthy foods does decrease consumption, like in the case of Mexico’s junk food tax. Consumption of junk food decreased by 10 percent in the first three months of the tax.

The law will go into effect January 2015.

Read More:

  • Sugary drink tax measure fails (San Francisco Examiner)
  • Berkeley breaks through on soda tax (Politico)
  • Approval Of Soda Tax In Berkeley Is Scary Precedent For Food Industry (Forbes)
Liz Leslie

Liz Leslie is a journalist based in Chicago. When she's not writing about food, she's likely eating food. Or dreaming about food.

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