Washington – Today, the Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) called on San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom to abandon the idea of charging a “fee” to retailers who sell sugary drinks.

J. Justin Wilson, at the Center for Consumer Freedom, reported the following statement regarding Newsom’s proposed soda “fee”:

The tax code should not be used as a tool for social engineering. Nor should it be an instrument for penalizing individuals’ personal food choices — choices that some government officials (e.g. Mayor Newsom) find distasteful. Taxing soda pop is another paternalistic policy idea, which holds that politicians and government regulators-rather than individual citizens-should decide every aspect of what, where and when we eat. Newsom’s tax cuts against the very principle of personal responsibility.

The overwhelming body of research on food and beverage taxes questions the policy’s effectiveness. A number of studies demonstrate that taxes, or in Newsom’s case “fees,” do little to solve the issue of obesity.

Rather than burden San Franciscans with nuisance taxes, Newsom should take the lead in fostering an overall environment that is constructive to increasing physical activity and promoting the tools necessary to make personal responsibility the hallmark of losing weight.