US House of Representative member Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) announced that she would introduce the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Tax (SWEET) Act that would levy an excise tax on sugary drinks.
– Key Summary
The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) held the 2021 Virtual Sugary Drink Summit where consumer advocates gathered to address the need to reduce sugary drink consumption; Representative DeLauro announced.
The SWEET Act would introduce a tiered tax system where cans or bottles of soda with less than 7.5 grams of sugars per 12 ounces would be exempt from the tax, but drinks with 7.5 grams to 30 grams per 12 ounces would be taxed at two cents per ounce. Drinks with more than 30 grams of sugars per 12 ounces would be taxed at a rate of three cents per ounce.
Similar taxes on soda have been enacted at municipal level, in Boulder, Oakland, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, and other jurisdictions.
Many states have smaller, special taxes on sugary drinks, though a recent effort to introduce soda tax in California met with defeat.
Reaction The SWEET Act was first introduced in 2014 but did not pass Congress; the American Beverage Association noted at the time that a soft drink tax was not popular with consumers.
Beverage companies, led by industry giants Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, have long opposed more widescale measures to introduce a sugar tax.
If passed, the SWEET Act would represent arguably the most significant regulatory shift against beverage manufacturers in the U.S. in recent history. Sugar reduction trends continue to influence consumer preferences, especially when it comes to beverages.
This passage of the SWEET Act and the FDA’s launch of studies to update “healthy” claim on food labels in combination could result in significant shift away from consumer consumption of sugary drinks and food products.
RegASK will continue to monitor this development closely. Contact RegASK to know more about SWEET Act in US.
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