Billionaires put pop in advocates' push for soda taxes

IndustriesAssociated Press

After years of stamping out soda tax proposals with well-financed campaigns, Big Soda is suddenly finding itself up against bigger adversaries.

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Voters and lawmakers in five municipalities such as San Francisco and the county that includes Chicago approved special taxes on sugary drinks last week.

Others that passed last week were in Oakland and Albany, California, and Boulder, Colorado. They follow Berkeley, California, in 2014, and Philadelphia this summer.

Advocates chalk up the streak of victories to a shift in public attitudes, but they're also now backed by billionaires. The soda industry says the measures don't amount to a movement, and that the proposals are being pushed in places more likely to pass them.