Each of the ‘cubes’ represents a teaspoon of sugar!
The story, in this instance, has to do with taxing the sugar in soft drinks. We reported, on March 22, that the U.K. intends to do that effective in 2018.
A week later. (on April 4) The New York Times mentioned the U.K. proposal in an article about Philadelphia’s plan to introduce a similar tax — and the fact that several other countries are leaning the same way, toward a new source of revenue that, by the way, would have serious, positive health benefits.
But still, this blog reported the sugar tax concept — a nearly a done deal in the U.K., from more recent reports — before New York’s ‘paper of record’ made mention of it in a report on Philadelphia’s idea.
With extremely limited resources, FoodTrandTrends.com has twice in one week been ‘in front of’ one of the world’s most prestigious newspapers on an issue of enormous significance — health- and cost-wise — to a sizable sector of the public.
The Times said the proposed soft drink tax in Philadelphia could far surpass Britain’s in its reach:
Instead of the usual eat-your-vegetables pitch of public health reformers, [Mayor Jim Kenney is offering Philadelphians something delicious: a giant pot of money to fund popular city projects. He says his soda tax could raise more than $400 million over five years, enough to fund not just universal preschool, but also renovations to local libraries, parks and recreation centers; “community schools” that wrap social services with education; and cash for the troubled municipal pension program. He is not using the word obesity, or suggesting that people should drink less soda.
His tax could raise the price of a 20-ounce bottle of soda by 60 cents, an increase likely to make some shoppers think twice. But when asked about the health benefits of the tax, he says, “There’s really serious health benefits in pre-K.”
In other words, this soda tax isn’t for the nanny state; it’s for the needy state. Governments are starting to think of soda taxes as the next sin tax — an untapped source of revenue that could help with other things.
The Times, in short, used its vast resources — including time, tons of reporters and researchers — to take the story further than FoodTradeTrends.com did, and that’s as it should be.
Our purpose, as a blog on ‘trending’ issues, is to draw attention to issues, not necessarily to explore them in depth.
I personally develop FTT’s stories through my own research across a broad spectrum of consumer, trade and government resources, including many from somewhat obscure sources in the far corners of the world.
FTT must be doing something right: In the several months since it was launched, this blog has been seen in more than two dozen countries!