June 26, 2018-
As the CEO of the American Heart Association, I’ve seen my fair share of industry efforts to oppose health initiatives and protect their profits. California Senate Bill 872 is one of the worst. The bill would prevent Californians and their local elected officials from enacting measures they feel are necessary to protect the health of their communities and allow public investments in critical local programs.
This bill – introduced at the eleventh hour, written by the beverage industry and its allies – would be a significant blow to this state’s health and economic vitality. It would expose the beverage industry’s false claims that they care about local communities; the truth is, they think nothing of stripping away the right of those communities to decide for themselves how to best address local health concerns. Since 2014, residents of four California cities have voted to enact sugary drink taxes, and with good reason. Sugary drinks are the number one source of added sugars in the American diet.