California’s soda tax bill pulled ahead of committee vote

California’s soda tax bill pulled ahead of committee vote

California Democratic lawmakers’ effort to change state residents’ potentially harmful sugar habits collapsed once again on Tuesday, when the measure was pulled by its author ahead of its scheduled first committee vote.

Assembly Bill 2782 proposed to impose a 2-cent-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks. Assemblyman Richard Bloom, a Democrat from Santa Monica, pulled it ahead of a scheduled committee vote, saying the measure lacked support required to pass the legislature.

Sean MacNeil, a spokesperson for Bloom, said the measure didn’t have sufficient support from members of the Assembly Health Committee. MacNeil added that Bloom had no plans to amend the bill and reintroduce it.

Opponents have said soda taxes or warning labels are not likely to change behavior and may adversely affect poor people.

It was the eighth attempt in the last six years, the latest setback to the public health campaign that has long been warning that sugary drinks are causing a number of health problems.

Public health experts have long been blaming sugary beverages for increasing rates of diseases like obesity and diabetes. Many elected officials have repeatedly called ubiquity of sugary beverages a leading menace to healthy living and warned that beverage companies are hiding the risk of their products.