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UPDATE: Beverage industry pushes back against bill for warning labels on sugary drinks in California

Flickr member Alan
Sen. Bill Monning explains his labeling legislation.

California's soda industry is fighting back after Central Coast State Senator Bill Monning announced this week a renewed effort to put warning labels on sugary drinks.

The Industry group CalBev calls the bill misguided and said that they don't believe warning labels are an effective policy for promoting healthy lifestyle choices.

Roger Salazar is a CalBev spokesperson and says the bill unfairly singles out the beverage industry while ignoring other junk food.

"If the idea is that you put a warning label on every food that might be bad for you, then the only things that have warning labels are oatmeal, I guess, or fruit. There's all sorts of food out there that people need to be concerned about," said Salazar.

The group says sugary drink consumption is falling while diabetes rates are rising, proving sodas are not to blame. The statistics used don't take into account sports and energy drinks, or sweet teas, a growing part of the market.

Senator Monning's bill, SB 203, would require a statement on sugar-sweetened beverages with 75 calories or more per 12 ounces warning of the risk for diabetes, obesity and tooth decay.


There is a renewed push in Sacramento to put warning labels on sugary beverages like sodas, energy drinks and sweet teas. This is the second attempt in as many years by Central Coast State Senator Bill Monning (D- Carmel) to get a warning label bill passed.

The Bill SB 203 is patterned after the Senator's 2014 bill. SB 203 requires a label warning on sweetened beverages that contain 75 or more calories per 12 ounces.

The label would state the following: "STATE OF CALIFORNIA SAFETY WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay."

Monning says with each passing month more research shows the correlation between sugar consumption and those risks the label aims to warn against. He says sometimes consumers aren't aware of the sugar content.

"It's really a question of providing consumers with the right of knowing of a dangerous product that's put in front of them and advertised with hundreds of millions of dollars," said Senator Monning. "So we think this is one way that the public can try to level the playing field and focus on health."

Last year the sugary drinks bill died in an Assembly committee.

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