By Kia Croom
Pastor Ulis Redic of Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Richmond is among the community leaders who are opposed to the Sugary Sweetened Beverage Tax.
While Pastor Redic agrees that sugar-sweetened beverages are bad for the health, he does not believe the proposed tax and its presumed community benefit is “well thought out,” despite assertions that money from the tax would fund anti-obesity activities and programming.
“There are a number of other things that contribute to the obesity problem we have, for example a number of sweet things, like candy, pie, etc. So, to just to pick out soda and sweetened beverages seems really arbitrary to me,” he said.
“Even if the money from the tax would go towards awareness and education, I’d still be opposed to it.”
Pastor Redic is not convinced the proposed penny per ounce tax will deter soda drinkers from getting their sugar fix and is concerned about its implications for businesses.
“It would certainly be bad for businesses. If people want (sugar drinks), they will go to San Pablo, El Cerrito,” he said.
“I don’t think it will have the great impact some think. Education and awareness will be much more effective.”