soda tax slideWhile California as a whole takes on the issue of labeling genetically modified food ingredients, the city of Richmond has launched a very different nutritional battle—an effort to tax the sale of sugar-sweetened beverages.

jeff-rittermanJeff RittermanIf Richmond's voters approve Measure N in November, City Councilman Jeff Ritterman says the resulting income could be used to fund a variety of programs to encourage exercise and fitness for the city's youth.

Councilman Nat Bates Nat BatesA second, advisory-only, question being put to Richmond's voters asks them to affirm such uses for the funds: "Should the proceeds of any business license fee [for] sugar-sweetened beverages be used: to have more after school sports programs, to make them less expensive and to provide adequate sports fields; to allow schools to provide healthier school meals, nutrition classes and cooking classes; to provide medical care for children with diabetes who can't afford care; and to support other worth projects to prevent and treat diabetes and childhood obesity?"

SODA TAX 2But Richmond councilmember Nat Bates, who opposes the proposed soda tax, says there is nothing in the measure to ensure those priorities are carried out, especially as the membership of the council changes in the future.







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