STATEMENT: Celebrating victory over the beverage industry in Philadelphia
DAVIS, CA, June 16, 2016… Today those fighting on the side of public health and the public good overcame nearly $5 million in opposition spending and the relentless machinations of a cynical beverage industry to pass the first sugary drink tax in a major U.S. city – Philadelphia – the fifth largest city in the nation. With Philly joining the United Kingdom, Mexico and the city of Berkeley, momentum is now on the side of similar initiatives in California – in San Francisco, Oakland and Albany – and a growing number of cities across the country. There’s good reason for this momentum: soda and other sugary beverages are toxic products directly responsible for a significant portion of the nation’s diabetes and heart disease epidemics. Perhaps more importantly, soda tax revenues can fund pre-K, public parks and other vitally needed services that our children need to live long and healthy lives. The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King once said, “The time is always right to do what’s right.” Today Philadelphia did what is right.
Dr. Harold Goldstein
Executive Director, Public Health Advocates