A proposed bill (A.B. 1357) that would have imposed a 2-cent-perounce tax on soft drinks, sweet teas, energy and sports drinks has failed to pass the California Assembly Health Committee by a vote of 10-6.

“I am disappointed that the committee failed to act today on one of the biggest health crises facing our nation,” said Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), author of the legislation. “Diabetes is now the seventh largest cause of death in the nation. If current trends aren’t reversed, one-in-three children born after 2000—and specifically one-intwo African-American or Hispanic children—are expected to develop type 2 diabetes. The overwhelming view of health experts is that the single most significant cause of obesity and diabetes is overconsumption of sugar.”

Revenue generated by the tax would have generated an estimated $3 billion for health, education and wellness programs aimed at reducing the incidence of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular and dental disease. The proposal was co-sponsored by the American Heart Association, Latino Coalition for a Healthy California and California Dental Association. See Associated Press and Press Release of Assemblymember Richard Bloom, May 12, 2015.