Fizzy Lizzy founder calls on state legislature to reject obesity tax

(NEW YORK, NY) – Liz Morrill, Founder & CEO of Fizzy Lizzy, a brand of all-natural sparkling juice based in Manhattan, has issued urgent appeals to all members of the New York State Legislature to reject Governor Paterson’s planned eighteen percent “obesity tax” on carbonated beverages slated for 2009. In New York City, the tariff would increase the existing sales tax on sparkling juice (and on numerous other packaged beverages) that has existed since 1965, to over 26%.

“The proposed tax is completely irrational” states Morrill. “For instance” Morrill goes on, “it imposes no tax on 100% juices such as Tropicana Pure Premium Orange, which has a whopping 165 calories and 33 grams of sugar per 12 ounces, but levies a massive 26% tax on Fizzy Lizzy Tangerine, (50% juice and 50% seltzer), which contains only 100 calories and 24 grams of sugar per 12-ounce bottle. I started this company precisely because people wanted a lower-calorie and refreshing alternative to plain juice. Now it seems that Governor Paterson wants to penalize my company, and others like it, for providing healthful, all-natural alternatives.

Even more perplexing”, Morrill continues, “is the fact that diet sodas, laden with artificial sweeteners, artificial flavors and preservatives, which numerous scientific studies have shown actually increase one’s yearning for sweets, get a pass but all non-diet carbonated beverages, regardless of calorie and nutritional content, are heavily taxed. So nonsensical is this proposal that it even applies to flavored seltzer containing zero calories!

Oddly, almost all non-carbonated beverages without regard to nutritional profile, get a pass. Instead of mindlessly demonizing carbonation, the tax, if any, should be based upon objective nutritional criteria such as calories and sugars per ounce. It should favor all-natural products that intrinsically provide vitamins, minerals and other nutrients as well.”

Fizzy Lizzy is an all-natural line of beverages consisting of fruit juice and sparkling water with no added sugar or corn syrup. With an average of 56% juice per bottle, Fizzy Lizzy’s entire product line contains fewer calories and grams of sugar per ounce than any other brand of sparkling juice. Established in 2000, Fizzy Lizzy received a silver medal at the 2007 Fancy Food Show for “Outstanding Cold Beverage” and has been lauded by media ranging from Better Nutrition to Food & Wine to The New York Times. The company’s beverages are available in eight flavors and are sold in select supermarkets, gourmet- and health-food stores and cafés nationwide. For more information, please call 800-203-9336 and/or visit