DeLauro to Introduce Federal Tax on Sugary Drinks
On April 20, 2021, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) held the 2021 Virtual Sugary Drink Summit where consumer advocates gathered to address the need to reduce sugary drink consumption. Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), the current Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, presented at the CSPI event and announced that the “Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Tax (SWEET) Act—that would levy an excise tax on sugary drinks—could be introduced as soon as this week. Representative DeLauro first introduced the SWEET Act to the 113th Congress in 2015. In 2015, Representative DeLauro also championed the declaration of added sugars on the Nutrition Facts Panel found on packaged foods.
According to CSPI’s announcement, the SWEET Act would introduce a tiered tax system where cans or bottles of soda with less than 7.5 grams of sugars per 12 ounces would be exempt from the tax, but drinks with 7.5 grams to 30 grams per 12 ounces would be taxed at two cents per ounce. Drinks with more than 30 grams of sugars per 12 ounces would be taxed at a rate of three cents per ounce.
CSPI stated that the SWEET Act would help decrease the consumption of sugary beverages to reduce the toll of soda-related diseases, such as heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and other health problems. On April 23, CSPI will hold a SWEET Act Lobby Day where up to 500 participants will virtually lobby Congressional offices to address the need to reduce sugary drink consumption.