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US soft-drink makers criticize gov’t efforts to limit sales

HAYWARD, California—The state’s beverage association and Pepsi Beverages Company of Hayward answered critics who accuse the soft-drink industry of promoting obesity though high-calorie sugary drinks.

At a media tour of Pepsi’s bottling facility in Hayward on July 30, Chuck Finnie, a spokesman for the American Beverage Association in California, said that the industry has diversified its products to give consumers “a lot of choices” when it comes to caloric intake from soft drinks.

Much of the industry’s growth in California, Finnie added, “has been fueled by its responsiveness to the needs of Californians” through development of more low- and no-calorie beverages, smaller portion sizes, clear calorie labeling and shipping fewer calories to schools.

He argued that obesity rates attributed to the industry is on “a downward slope, the overall obesity rate is still going up—something is going on here.”

“Our company’s success in the state is based on responsiveness to California consumers and partnerships we’ve built with a diverse array of retailers and suppliers,” said Greg Haskin, senior director of government relations for PepsiCo.

Haskin added, “until a broad debate on caloric intake happens, to include ice cream, donuts, etc., government shouldn’t try to narrowly target our industry with policies that tackle obesity.”

The city of Richmond, California, tried in vain to levy additional taxes on soft drinks.

In New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg asked the state’s highest court to review a decision striking down a local ban on sales of large-sized sugary soft drinks.

New York’s leaders in Sept. approved Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plan to cap the size of sugary drinks sold in restaurants, stadiums, movie theaters and arenas at 16 ounces a cup.

But a unanimous panel of the New York State Supreme Court’s Appellate Division, on July 30 upheld Justice Milton Tingling’s ruling striking down the plan, saying the Board of Health exceeded its authority when it approved the restrictions.

Pepsi and the beverage association also emphasized their economic role, which could be threatened by attempts to limit by law the consumption of soft drinks. Combined, the industry’s overall direct economic impact in the state was estimated at $16.7 billion in 2012, according to Finnie.

In California, the soft drink industry provides $2.27 billion in wages annually, and $2.35 billion in taxes to the state and $3.52 billion at the federal level.  It also was the source of nearly $42 million in charitable giving in California during 2012.

The Pepsi Hayward plant is one of dozens owned and operated around the state by the U.S nonalcoholic beverage industry.  Throughout California, the industry directly employs more than 26,000 Californians in production, bottling, distribution and other roles.

It supports employment of an additional 86,000 Californians in related industries—food and beverage, entertainment and others—many of them owned and operated by California’s API community, Haskin said.


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  • MaureenABA

    As this article points out, the beverage industry offers myriad choices in a wide range of calories so individuals can choose the beverage that is right for them. People should continue to enjoy these choices without regulatory interference or misguided restrictions. The fact is bans, taxes and other government-imposed limitations on what we eat and drink will do nothing to change behaviors or teach people about healthy lifestyles. Only education about diet and exercise can do that.

    -Maureen Beach, American Beverage Association

  • ThisGuy

    Stay fat, America!

  • eight_log

    Anything taken to the extreme … is deadly!!! Moderation is the key!!!!!!!!

    • bok

      I agree! Moderation is the key. A little cocaine here, a few puffs of crack, a joint to smoke next, a half bottle of jack daniels, a half tablet of etc… LOL

  • AirForce1985

    Soda has NO nutritional value , but a horrendous amount of refined sugar . Sugar consumed depletes the body of vitamins , minerals , etc . There is chemicals in soda , not made for human comsumption . Phosphoric Acid is one , that wears down the enamel of your teeth . You will find that anyone that regularly consumes soda daily , has cavities and teeth like a crackhead , drug addict . The worse it depletes the body of vital calcium needed for strong bones and teeth . Best advice , to rarely drink soda , if at all !!!

  • adwellv

    E promoting obesity ba naman ang words na gamitin. LOL. sure na rambol it is. Hehehe

  • UrHONOR

    HINDI lang OBESITY….kundi JABETIS pa! Ilang libong laksa na ang pagpapatunay na yang sodringk ay subok-na-subok ng tunay at dalisay na pinagmumulan ng JABETIS sa buong daigdig. Dito lamang sa bayang magiliw, ang dami ng mga sumusulpot na DIALYSIS cneters ay nakakagulat! Datirati, bilang-na-bilang mo ang dialysis centers sa buong Pilipinas at bihirang-bihira kang makakabalita ng mga nagpapa-dialysis. Ngayon, ina ng awa po, halos lahat na ng malaking siyudad ay may dialysis clinics. Sa mga first-class cities, hindi na mabibilang pa ang dami ng mga clinics na ito. At heto ka pa…ang mga dialysis clinics at parating puno on 4 shift runs/day from 4:30AM to 11PM. So, bakit nagkaganun at ano ang ibig sabihin nito? Nag-da-dialysis ang isang pasyente dahil hindi na gumagana ang kanyang mga bato o kidneys. Dahil nasira ang mga ito ng jabetis. Dahil ang jabetis ay nakuha kalimitan sa pag-inum ng sodringks. Op kors, hindi lang sodringks ang pinagmumulan ng jabetis…maraming pinagmumulan ang jabetis, PERO…pero ang pinakamabigat na dahilan, ayon sa mga pagsusuri at pagsisiyasat ng mga medical researchers at professionals, ay ang SODAS na, sa katunayan, ay halos puro asukal ang laman. Syrup at tubig. Kaya sa US, maraming eskwelahan, kundi halos lahat na, ang pumipigil sa mga mag-aaral sa pag-inum ng sodas.

    Kaya….sa mga kabayan na nagpapahalga ng kanilang kalusugan, iwasan po ang pag-inum ng sodringks….kahit na po DIET. Iwasan din po ang mga pagkaing may hydrogenated oil na mababasa ninyo sa labels ng binibili ninyong pagkain. At, kung kakayanin ninyo gulay, isda, at prutas ang dyeta na inyong pagtuunan kung gusto ninyong mapamatili ang magandang kalusugan. Hindi din mabuti ang mga karne ng may apat na paa…lalo na sa mga tumatanda na. ang mga de lata ay pagkaing maraming kemikal na hindi kailangan ng katawan…kemikal nalinalagay sa mga lata para ang laman ay hindi mabulok. Tandaan ninyo na ang mga hayop na pinalalaki sa mga FARMS ay pinakakain ng mga hoemones at chemicals na siyang pumapasok sa katawan ng tao pag kinain ang mga hayop na ito. Ito po ay ilan lamang pa-ala-ala sa mga kabayan at hindi PAGTUTURO ng kung ano ang wasto at ano ang hindi. Ang ating pong mga sariling kaisipan ang ating gamitin at hindi yong sa iba.

    • batmanlaijai

      Ang kapitnahay po namin vegetarian… palagi check up sa doctor… 20 years old pa lng namatay na… kawawa po… nabangga kasi ng kotse… lasing yong nagmamaneho… hindi kaya alak ang dapat masigasig na kampanyahan gaya ng sa sigarilyo?

      • adwellv

        Unfortunate events.. Rip

      • UrHONOR

        IPAGBAWAL ang KOTSE….kotse ang nakamatay di ba? :)



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