May 16th, 2014

Dems want to end tax break for junk food

By Ramsey Cox
The Hill

Sens. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) introduced a bill Thursday that would end a tax subsidy for the marketing of unhealthy food and beverages to children. “Our nation is facing a childhood obesity crisis that demands our urgent attention, and one effective way of combating this epidemic is to ensure that our children are not confronted by persistent advertising from soda, snack, and candy makers,” Harkin said. “Given the enormous public health costs associated with childhood obesity, our bill promotes healthier lifestyles.”

The Stop Subsidizing Childhood Obesity Act would shift the money saved from eliminating the tax credit to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, which provides fresh fruit or vegetable snacks to elementary school students in low-income schools. Under the current tax code, companies can deduct marketing and advertising expenses from their income taxes.

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