A lobbying blitz by the soda industry helped kill four out of five bills Democrats proposed this year to limit Californians’ consumption of sugary drinks, which health advocates blame for a rise in diabetes and obesity.
The latest casualty was AB 764, which would have prohibited discount pricing on soda, the same way manufacturers are prohibited from offering coupons on cigarettes. Supporters of the measure—including doctors, dentists and public health advocates—argued that Californians would make healthier choices and drink less soda if they had to pay full price on every purchase. Opponents from the beverage industry said the proposal could violate their commercial free speech rights to determine pricing on a legal product.
Assemblyman Rob Bonta, an Alameda Democrat, did not take his bill up for a floor vote by the deadline—an indication that it probably didn’t have enough votes to pass. There’s always next year.