California state lawmakers and medical experts have proposed a state law that would require sugary drinks sold in the state to carry health warning labels similar to those required on packs of cigarettes, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The measure, SB 1000, would take effect July 1, 2015. Those in favor of the bill point to studies linking soda to obesity.
Under the bill, the front of all cans and bottles of soda and juice drinks with added sugar and 75 or more calories per 12 ounces would be required to carry the label. The label would read: “STATE OF CALIFORNIA SAFETY WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes and tooth decay.”
Self-serve soda dispensers would be required to place a label on the dispenser, and in locations where the dispenser is behind the counter the label would be on the counter. In sit-down restaurants it might appear on menus, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The legislation is supported by the California Medical Association. It is opposed by CalBev, the state arm of the American Beverage Assn., which said the proposal unfairly singles out one type of product for regulation.
“We agree that obesity is a serious and complex issue,” CalBev said in a statement. “However, it is misleading to suggest that soft drink consumption is uniquely responsible for weight gain. In fact, only four percent of calories in the average American diet are derived directly from soda.”