Sacramento Update

Beverage industry wants to spike #SanFrancisco’s “sugary drinks” warning labels

A fat America is a prosperous America…for the soft drink industry.

San Francisco’s attempt to require health warnings on billboard ads for sugary drinks is unfair and misleading because the messages imply that sodas are uniquely dangerous when they aren’t really dangerous at all, a beverage industry lawyer told a federal appeals court.

The industry maintains that sugary drinks are a health hazard only for those who take in more calories overall than they burn.

Deputy City Attorney Christine Van Aken said the message was both accurate and legally justified, targeting a leading cause of serious health problems.

“Soda is the single largest source of added sugar in the American diet,” Van Aken told the court. She said San Francisco singled out sugary beverages because “there is widespread agreement that this is the leading cause of the obesity epidemic.”

The three-judge panel gave little indication of how it planned to rule. The city ordinance, the first of its kind in the nation, was due to take effect last July, but federal courts have delayed its enforcement during the court challenge.

The ordinance would require publicly displayed advertising for sugar-sweetened beverages to devote 20 percent of the ad to a label, drafted by and attributed to the city, saying the drinks posed an increased risk of obesity, diabetes and tooth decay.

Read the whole story in the San Francisco Chronicle

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Categories: Sacramento Update

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