Soda Sage

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As Berkeley and San Francisco, CA (and other cities across the country) consider soda taxes this upcoming election season, they generate a boom of information on how to fight against Big Soda elsewhere. BeyondChron writer, Dona Woldow, interviews Nancy Huehnergarth, a New York-based consumer protection champion and co-founder of the “New York State Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Alliance” (NYSHEPA).

In mid February, on her way to Australia, an unanticipated travel snafu stranded Nancy for 24 hours in San Francisco. Much to my joy, she contacted me and we were able to meet in person for the first time. Here, she shares some insights into what may lie ahead for soda tax activists in the Bay Area.”

In this lively interview, Ms. Huehnergarth goes on to talk about some lessons learned in New York, and a litany of tricks that Big Soda may employ to stop the passage of such taxes.

Q. - Have you seen Big Soda deploy their own workers to oppose soda taxes?

A. - In 2010, there were rallies and protests at soda bottling plants all over NY state. The media was always invited and would show soda workers demonstrating outside their bottling plants.

In addition, Big Soda’s fear-mongering enlisted the NY Teamsters union to help oppose the tax at a rally at the state Capitol in Albany; one of the claims was that a tax would wind up “hurting working families.” However, working families are already being gravely damaged by excess sugary drink consumption – both health-wise and economically."

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