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Nation’s First Soda Tax Passed in California City

TIME

Berkeley, Calif. has become the first U.S. city to pass a law taxing sugary drinks, with more than three-quarters of voters Tuesday backing a 1-cent-an-ounce tax on soft drinks.

Proponents of the measure say the tax will curb the consumption of sodas, energy drinks and sweetened teas which are contributing to the country’s obesity epidemic and Type 2 diabetes. Harvard researchers found in a 2013 study that increasing the price of a 20 oz. soda by 20 cents led to a 16% sales drop. But critics say such measures are nanny statism, and remove consumer choice.

“Berkeley has a proud history of setting nationwide trends, such as non-smoking sections in restaurants and bars, curb cuts for wheelchairs, curbside recycling, and public school food policies,” Vicki Alexander, an activist who worked to pass Measure D, said in statement.

A similar proposal failed across the Bay in San Francisco on Tuesday, USA…

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