I love the Bern. I even feel the Bern occasionally. But I'm afraid he unwittingly stumbled into a sticky Big Soda trap last week when he declined to support the soda tax that Philadelphia's popular mayor Jim Kenney is fighting for.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney's proposed three cent an ounce tax on soda to fund universal Pre-K made national headlines this week when Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton endorsed the tax. Bernie Sanders then came out against the tax labeling it regressive.
Like a cat caught with the pet canary in its mouth, the world's largest beverage company has guilt written all over its face. With little feathers still floating all over the house, Coca-Cola wants us to believe it is filled with remorse for spending millions of dollars manipulating science.
There is much we still don't understand about how artificial sweeteners may affect humans, but a growing body of research suggests turning to diet soda to feed a sugar craving may not be a good bet. A smart approach is to reduce consumption of sugar, fake or real.
Many change makers, who don't necessarily want to risk being the first, are ready, once they see success, to follow in its footsteps. That's how norms change works -- each effort leads to greater success in the next round.
The Berkeley soda tax victory is a successful example of an empowered community insisting that the health of its children come before the profits of transnational corporations. If Berkeley can crush Big Soda, other cities can too. And if Big Soda can be defeated, other mega-corporations can too!