Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, April 11, 2014 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

Senator Bill Monning (D-Carmel) has introduced a bill, SB 1000, which would prohibit the distribution or sale in California of specified sugar-sweetened beverages in a sealed beverage container or a multipack unless they bear the warning: “STATE OF CALIFORNIA SAFETY WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay.”

The bill also requires every vending and beverage dispensing machine and every establishment selling such sugar-sweetened beverages (including restaurants and grocery stores) to also post such a warning. Recordkeeping requirements in the bill would be extremely onerous for businesses to comply.

The California Department of Public Health would be charged with the enforcement of this law and could impose a civil penalty of up to $1,000 a day for each infraction. (An infraction is not clearly defined.)

These requirements add up to higher overhead costs for businesses and millions of tax dollars in added bureaucracy to monitor and enforce the law.

“Sugar-sweetened beverage” is defined as any sweetened nonalcoholic beverage, carbonated or noncarbonated, sold for human consumption that has added caloric sweeteners and contains l75 calories or more per 12 fluid ounces. This bill is targeting specific food products and not others masking the fact that overall diet and personal choices are the primary culprits in obesity and diabetes.

Additionally, the U.S. FDA has proposed a new plan which would change the way added sugars are listed on the labels of 700,000 products, including sport drinks, soft drinks, cereal, and ice cream. It does not make sense for the California Legislature to spend its time and the taxpayers’ money to mandate an additional California labeling law when a new, national effort on packaging is already going forward.

SB 1000 passed the Senate Health Committee on Wednesday, April 9th.  The vote was five in support, two against and two abstaining or absent. CMTA is opposing this bill.

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