Former presidential nominee, Bernie Sanders finds himself unknowingly involved in a battle he didn’t actually sign up for.
The socialist leader from the Democrat side of things has asked the American Beverage Association (ABA) to stop using his name in their efforts to prevent soda taxation. The trade group, which is made up of corporations such as PepsiCo and Coca-Cola, has been using Bernie’s name in all of its anti-soda tax advertisements across locations such as Oakland, Albany and San Francisco, where tax measures are on the ballot.
The cities mentioned above are at the center of attention because of ballot propositions calling for taxation on sugary drinks. Supporters of the proposition suggest that the move will limit consumption and help raise funding for treating and fighting obesity.
However, opponents believe that the tax will end up being a burden on small businesses, apart from hindering personal freedom. They also believe that the tax money won’t necessarily be used as intended.
In his statement to the media, Sanders clearly mentioned that he did not oppose the soda-tax and that the ABA’s use of his name to claim otherwise was false.
The whole issue began when Sanders had opposed soda-taxation in Philadelphia. However, his intentions were different at that point in time. For starters, he had opted to oppose the bill in order to separate himself from rival nominee, Hillary Clinton, who had supported the tax during the Democratic primaries.
Sanders was against the taxation because he was also against the idea of Philadelphia using the tax money to fund a universal pre-kindergarten, which he felt was a regressive strategy because of how it would end up being a burden on poor consumers. It’s a stand that, somewhat, falls in line with his socialist ideology.
Sanders, who is a lawmaker, has even sent the ABA a cease and desist letter.
Health Just Might Win
Sanders has even gone on to state that sugar consumption was a serious health problem and that it was in the hands of every community to address this concern.
With the lawmaker now coming out in public condemnation of the ABA’s methods, health advocates now have more ammunition to fight the beverage industry. It is even believed that they tried to get a copy of Sanders’ cease and desist letter in order to use it for their own ads. However, they were unable to do so.
But, with billionaire campaign supporters such as Michael Bloomberg on their side, the health advocates just might have a chance.