Taking on Big Soda


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that plaintiffs' attorneys who made big bucks by suing tobacco companies plan to take on soda manufacturers with lawsuits arguing, among other things, "that soft drink companies use caffeine, a mildly addictive substance, to hook children on a product that is dangerous because of its empty calories." Northeastern University law professor Richard Daynard, who founded the Tobacco Products Liability Project and now heads the Obesity and Law Project at the Public Health Advocacy Institute, has this to say about selling soda in schools: "It is less egregious, but it is a little like having a cigarette machine in a school."

I have no strong opinions about soda machines in schools, although I'm pretty sure removing them would have no measurable impact on overall calorie consumption or the number of tubby teenagers. But recovering damages from soda companies for selling their products to students will be a neat trick if Daynard et al. can manage it, especially since school administrators and board members are the ones who decide what gets vended.

[Thanks to CEI's Christine Hall-Reis for the link.]