Hands Off My Mountain Dew, Javier


Santa Fe’s mayor has drafted a resolution directing the city manager to “explore active ways of reducing sugar intake among … residents, and the benefits that would result.” For good measure, Javier Gonzales has thrown in a demand that state legislators address “the impact of excess sugar consumption among New Mexico residents,” and wants the FDA to “remove fructose from the generally regarded as safe … list.”


The document doesn’t specifically endorse a tax on soda, but that’s been the preferred tool for the left’s army of lifestyle police. Embraced by Nanny Statists from Michael Bloomberg to Hillary Clinton, a soda tax is in effect in Philadelphia, and could be imposed by voters in San Francisco, Oakland and Albany, California, and Boulder, Colorado, next month.

For New Mexico’s taxpayer and personal-freedom activists seeking to nip Gonzales’s mission creep in the bud, here are some resources worth reviewing:

* “The Case Against Regulating or Taxing Soda,” published by the Center for Consumer Freedom in 2013, is invaluable.

* Last year, a Cornell-University of Iowa study concluded that a soda tax adopted in Berkeley, California “so far has fizzled, raising retail prices for high-calorie sugary drinks by less than half the amount expected.” One of the paper’s authors noted that a “sugar-sweetened beverage tax is a very narrow approach to internalizing the external costs of obesity, because there are many other food and drink items that are also energy dense and lack nutritional value.”

* A recent Gallup poll found that the “majority of Americans report they try to avoid drinking soda, regardless of whether it is regular or diet. This is a drastic change from just over a decade ago.”

* In May, The Wall Street Journal reported that Mexico’s soda tax of “one peso per liter has raised more than $2 billion since January 2014,” but nevertheless, sales of liquid candy were “rising … after an initial drop, making the country a key-growth market again for soda giants Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo Inc.”

* In June, the Competitive Enterprise Institute published “Soda Taxes: A Failed Experiment that Needs to End,” which contained the inconvenient fact that in the U.S., “researchers estimate that calories from sugary drinks comprise just 7 percent of total calorie intake.”

With serious fiscal, economic-development, and housing-affordability issues impacting the denizens of Santa Fe, the city’s mayor needs to get his priorities right. A crusade against sugar doesn’t belong on his to-do list.