California State Senator Bill Monning (D-Carmel) has introduced legislation to require warning labels on sugary drinks sold in the state.
“When the science is this conclusive, the state of California has a responsibility to take steps to protect consumers,” said Monning. “As with tobacco and alcohol warnings, this legislation will give Californians essential information they need to make healthier choices.”
Senate Bill 1000 would place a warning on the front of all beverage containers with added sweeteners that have 75 or more calories per 12 oz. The label, developed by a national panel of nutrition and public health experts, would read: “STATE OF CALIFORNIA SAFETY WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay.”
At fast food restaurants with self-serve soda dispensers, the label would be on the dispenser. In a movie theater or business where the dispenser is behind the counter and used by employees, the label would be on the counter.
In response to the legislation, CalBev, the state arm of the American Beverage Association, released the following statement: “We agree that obesity is a serious and complex issue. However, it is misleading to suggest that soft drink consumption is uniquely responsible for weight gain. In fact, only 4% of calories in the average American diet are derived directly from soda. According to government data, foods, not beverages, are the top source of sugars in the American diet.”
CalBev statement (pdf)