Berkeley’s Soda Tax Gets Financial Support from Bloomberg

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The former mayor of New York City is donating to fight the lobbying power of the soda industry in Berkeley

Photo Modified: Flickr / Alexander Kaiser / CC BY 4.0

Michael Bloomberg is fighting against a powerful campaign from the soda industry in Berkeley, Calif.

Though he was unsuccessful in banning the sale of large sodas in New York City during his time as mayor, Michael Bloomberg’s fight against the soda industry has had a ripple effect, and now Bloomberg is turning his attention to a soda tax in Berkeley, Calif.

According to The New York Times, a campaign to impose a cent-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks has raised $135,000 as of last week, while the soda industry has spent an alarming $1.4 million to block the measure (nearly $12 per resident).

Bloomberg, in an effort to battle the industry’s considerable financial advantage, has already donated $85,000 to the tax campaign, and will more than likely continue to support the campaign financially.

“We want to come in and try to equalize the spending disparity, which is enormous,” said Howard Wolfson, a senior adviser to Mr. Bloomberg told The New York Times.

Though he was unsuccessful in establishing a statewide soda tax in New York, he later contributed $10 million to a similar tax in Mexico, where there has since been a “notable drop” in soda consumption.

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Karen Lo is an associate editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @appleplexy