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San Francisco Law Requires Warnings for Sugary Sodas

Kaitlynn Martin7 months ago

After a federal judge declined to halt a new law, soda manufacturers will be forced to include warnings and dangers on certain advertisements when it comes to their product.

About the New Soda Law

USA Today reports that soda companies will now be required to include the health effects of their sugary beverages, thanks to U.S. District Judge Edward Chen. This law will require warnings to be included on paper ads, posters and billboards, but not on the packaging or commercials. Beverages with one or more added caloric sweeteners and more than 25 calories per 12 ounces are what this law applies to.

American Beverage Association, California Retailers and California State Outdoor Advertising Association, alleged the new law violates their free speech rights. They then filed a lawsuit seeking a temporary blocking of the rule; however, the motion was denied.

When it comes to the warnings, the ad has to state: “WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugars contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay. This is a message from the City and County of San Francisco.”

Opposing Views on the Soda Law

The health advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest supports the decision, and claims that sugary soft drinks are liquid candy that is harming America’s health.  The group also states that Judge Edward Chen’s efforts to implement a warning requirement are a major step in the health efforts to combat diabetes, obesity, and tooth decay.

However, not everyone supports the decision. According to the American Beverage Association, soda is being unfairly targeted, and claims that any calorie reduction from soda will just be made up for elsewhere.

Soda has always been a major target of health groups and politicians, looked down upon as just an empty source of calories and high sugar content. It was even attempted that sweetened beverages over 16 ounces were banned, thanks to former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The proposal ultimately failed.

The soda industry is dealing with years of declining sales as other efforts have been made to tax sugary drinks or ad warning labels. Makers have since moved forward into the world of non-carbonated beverages. 

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