American Beverage Association
|Industry||Non-Alcoholic Beverage Industry|
|Predecessor(s)||American Bottlers of Carbonated Beverages; National Soft Drink Association|
|Key people||Susan Neely, President of the American Beverage Association|
|Services||Lobbying on behalf of beverage producers|
The American Beverage Association (ABA) is a trade organization that represents the beverage industry in the United States. Its members include producers and bottlers of soft drinks, bottled water, and other non-alcoholic beverages.
The organization was founded in 1919, and originally named the American Bottlers of Carbonated Beverages. In 1966, it renamed itself the National Soft Drink Association. Then in November 2004, it changed to its current name, "to better reflect the expanded range of nonalcoholic beverages the industry produces."
The association’s leaders include:[when?] Chair Larry Young, president and CEO of Dr Pepper Snapple Group; Vice Chair Hugh Johnson, president of Pepsi-Cola North America; and President Susan Neely, president of the American Beverage Association. Its members are bottling companies and other beverage industry firms, including Bulldog Americas Corporation, several Coca Cola and Pepsi-Cola bottlers, Pepsi-Americas Inc, and Royal Crown Bottling Corporation.
The American Beverage Association’s lobbying efforts have recently skyrocketed, largely to finance the industry’s opposition to legislators’ considering increased taxes on soft drinks given their impact on Americans' health when consumed in excess. The Association annual spent about $391,000 to more than $690,000 annually on lobbying from 2003 to 2008. In the 2010 election cycle, its lobbying grew more than 1000 percent to $8.67 million. These funds are helping to pay for 25 lobbyists at seven different lobbying firms.
In September 2009, a New England Journal of Medicine study called for taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages saying that these actions would cut rates of diet-related diseases and health care costs. Written by experts in nutrition, public health and economics, the study called for an excise tax of a penny per ounce on soft drinks and other beverages that have added sweeteners such as sucrose, high-fructose corn syrup or fruit-juice concentrates. The expectation is that such a tax could reduce calorie consumption from sweetened beverages by 10% and create revenue that governments could use to pay for health programs. A report on the New England Journal of Medicine study can be read here
To counter these pro-tax efforts, the American Beverage Association and other beverage industry companies have established an "Americans Against Food Taxes" coalition and website. Their efforts include national advertising and other actions positioning the proposed taxes as "taxing hard-working families." This group's actions have been opposed by pro-tax organizations including the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
To date, 33 states have taxes on soft drinks but they are "too low to affect consumption and the revenues are not earmarked for health programs," according to the New England Journal of Medicine study.
- American Beverage Association - About the American Beverage Association
- http://www.ameribev.org/about-aba/board-of-directors/ American Beverage Association website, Nov 20 2009
- http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/clientlbs.php?lname=American+Beverage+Assn&year=2009 Center for Responsive Politics, ABA profile
- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204518504574417380680508354.html Wall Street Journal, New report calls for tax of a penny an ounce on soft drinks, Sept 16 2009
- http://content.nejm.org/cgi/reprint/361/16/1599.pdf New England Journal of Medicine, The public health and economic benefits of taxing sugar-sweetened beverages, Oct 15 2009
- http://nofoodtaxes.com/ No Food Taxes website, Nov 20 2009
- http://www.cspinet.org/liquidcandy/index.html CSPI website, Nov 20 2009
- http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204518504574417380680508354.html Wall Street Journal, Sept 16, 2009
- ABA statement on sugar-sweetened beverages and blood pressure
- Official website
- "Beverage group: Pull soda from primary schools", USAToday, August 17, 2005
- "After soda ban nutritionists say more can be done", Boston Globe, May 4, 2006
- "Critics Say Soda Policy for Schools Lacks Teeth New York Times, August 22, 2005
- Center for Responsive Politics, ABA profile
- Sourcewatch, ABA profile