Lawmakers in Mexico have reportedly proposed a tax on all sugar-sweetened beverages in an effort to curb the nation’s obesity and Type 2 diabetes epidemics. According to a news source, the proposed legislation, intended for flavored beverages, concentrates, powders, syrups, and essences or flavor extracts, would apply a tax of one peso (US eight cents) for each liter of sugarsweetened beverage. Soft drinks sold at movie theaters would evidently be exempt.
Consumer advocacy groups support a tax on sugary beverages, but argue that it should be higher to have a greater impact on public health. “It’s good that there would be a tax. We have to acknowledge that. But to have a significant impact on consumption of sugary drinks, assessments show that it should be a 20 percent tax,” said Alejandro Calvillo, head of the consumer watchdog group Consumer Power A.C. Calvillo, who has linked the consumption of sugary drinks in Mexico to the lack of drinking water in public places, said that the Mexican government should provide details of how it would spend the 2 billion pesos (US$152 million) likely to be raised by the soda tax and suggested that some of the money be used to put drinking fountains in schools and public places. See The Wall Street Journal and Rudd Radar, September 9, 2013; HurriyetDailyNews.com, September 11, 2013.