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California Senate Passes Warning Label Bill for Sugar-Sweetened Drinks

June 25, 2014

California Senate Bill No. 1000, which would require safety warning labels on sugar-sweetened beverages, has passed in the Senate and is now moving to the Assembly. If enacted into law, the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act would prohibit the distribution, sale, or offering for sale of a sugar-sweetened beverage in sealed containers unless it bears a prescribed safety warning.

The bill also establishes requirements for the posting of warnings at point-of-purchase in the case of sugar-sweetened beverages that are sold from vending machines and beverage dispensing machines.

Sugar-sweetened beverages are defined as any sweetened nonalcoholic beverage, carbonated or noncarbonated, sold for human consumption that has added caloric sweeteners and contains 75 calories or more per 12 fluid ounces. The definition does not include 100% fruit or vegetable juices, dietary aids, infant formulas, or any beverage whose principal ingredient by weight is milk.”

The warning label would read as follows: “STATE OF CALIFORNIA SAFETY WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay.”

The bill was created to raise awareness that sugar-sweetened beverages contribute to obesity and diabetes. Diabetes rates have tripled in the past 30 years, and one-fourth of teenagers today have diabetes or pre-diabetes. A recent study shows that, of hospitalized Californians, one in three has the disease.

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