August 4, 2021

Volume XI, Number 216

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August 03, 2021

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August 02, 2021

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Hawaii Proposes Tax on Sugar-Sweetened Beverages

Hawaii Governor David Ige (D.) has introduced House Bill 994 (HB-994) and its companion Senate Bill 1148 (SB-1148), which would require manufacturers or wholesale dealers of sugar-sweetened beverages, as well as sugary syrups or powders for beverages, to pay a two cents per fluid ounce fee.  Governor Ige stated that these bills aim to lower consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and thereby prevent weight gain, obesity, prediabetes, diabetes, tooth decay, and heart disease in the state.

Under HB-994 and SB-1148, a “sugar-sweetened beverage” is defined as any non-alcoholic beverage, carbonated or noncarbonated, that is intended for human consumption and contains any added “caloric sweetener.”  The bills define a caloric sweetener as “any substance that contains calories suitable for human consumption, that humans perceive as sweet, and includes, sucrose, fructose, glucose, other sugars, or fruit juice concentrates.”  Beverages that consist of one hundred percent fruit juice or vegetable juice with no added caloric sweetener, milk without added caloric sweetener, milk substitutes without added caloric sweetener, dietary aids, and infant formula would not be subject to the fee.

Hawaii has tried to pass similar legislation in previous years, but the bills have expired before making it through the full legislative process.  Cities, including Philadelphia and Berkeley, have introduced similar measures in the past, and there are mixed opinions on whether the measures have been effective.

© 2021 Keller and Heckman LLPNational Law Review, Volume XI, Number 49
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Keller and Heckman offers global food and drug services to its clients. Our comprehensive and extensive food and drug practice is one of the largest in the world. We promote, protect, and defend products made by the spectrum of industries regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Commission and Member States authorities in the European Union (EU) and similar authorities throughout the world. The products we help get to market include foods, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, veterinary products, dietary supplements, and cosmetics. In addition...

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