California, Leader In Public Health Measures, Tackles Sugary Drinks

Coke with California Warning

Last week, California’s senate passed the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, which will mandate sugar-sweetened beverage to display a warning label as depicted above. The measure still needs to pass the state Assembly and be signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. If all goes well, we can expect to see the warning labels as early as next year.

According to the bill, “sugar-sweetened beverage” means 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. 100% fruit and vegetable juices will be exempt.

Bill Monning, the senator who authored the bill had this to say:

“Liquid sugar is a significant and unique driver of obesity, preventable diabetes, and tooth decay. Some people accuse this (bill) of nanny governing and yet it is the government that’s responsible to protect the public health and safety of its people.”

We couldn’t agree more. Public health policy is not about America becoming a communist, or even socialist state. It’s about balancing free enterprise with people’s freedom to live healthy lives. Regulating an industry to protect the public is not about limiting choices, it’s about leveling the playing field.

The American Beverage Association is in damage control mode. The standard talking points are employed: No single cause of obesity / sugar is found in many foods / limiting Americans’ freedoms / etc…

The Cokes and Pepsis of the world have endless funding when it comes to marketing their sugar water. Their brands are so powerful that they have co-opted health and nutrition organizations, and sadly some professionals too. On an individual level, Americans don’t stand a chance. That’s where public health measures come in.

Can you picture yourself sitting in a smoke filled office surrounded by smoking co-workers? Or driving 60 mph down the highway unbuckled? Or renovating your house with paint filled with lead?

There is ample and compelling evidence today, despite the beverage industry’s shenanigans, to point to soft drinks as the largest single contributor to children’s sugar intake. Do not let them buy time like cigarette manufacturers did.

  • H2O

    Yes this is Great not everyone thinks they are bad for you. So happy thr less informed will see a warning on their can of poison. The soda companies get people sick and then they go to the pharmasutical companies huge profits for both. Diabetes Is big business. Thank You Bill Monning.

  • Anna

    This is awesome. Shame it is only in
    Cali, it should be nationwide.
    Other thing: They should label sodas with calorie-free sweeteners as well. Most are worse for you than plain old sugar, which is not healthy at all, still is relatively natural.

  • vroomvsr

    This is better than the thing they did in new york. It warns Americans but it doesn’t force them.
    Hopefully this will convince some Americans to not drink lots of soda.

    • Bang

      The problem with a post is that most people wont even listen to it! I had to do a paper about the New York food policy and I agree with it! They aren’t forcing people to eat things, it just lowers the amount they can have for these junk foods! The FDA needs to do this everywhere! Maybe you should research before having an opinion

  • Megs

    It’s about time!

  • Disgusted

    The coke and Pepsi company are monsters…they don’t care about anyone only MONEY…..people should be smarter…and not feed this demon water and all other contributing sweet poison beverages to their families….water water wTer is best….or lemon water…once you get use to not drinking these poison waters you will feel better and you won’t miss them..and when you drink them they will taste awful because your body will get use to not having so much sugar…..good work California…good work

    • Cy

      I agree! I’ve never been a big pop drinker but ever since I switched to just water, I bought a pop at work and all I could taste was the sugar so I threw it away!

  • Disgusted

    Americans are the hardest people to convince that something is very bad for them…that is why the government does not ban all the poisons that are banned in Europe….Americans love all the crap in foods in beverages….dud?????

  • Geo

    At last somebody’s warning about this hazardous substance!

  • Nicole

    Most people already know this crap, if they don’t they must not have made it past kindergarten.

    • Fooducate

      Most people know Coke and Pepsi, yet these companies advertise to the tune of billions of dollars a year. Think of the warning label as the anti-ad.