California Approves Bill Requiring Warning Labels For Sugary Beverages

Bill heads to the state Assembly.

The California Senate has passed a bill that would require sugary soft drinks to carry labels warning of obesity, diabetes and tooth decay, Reuters reported.

The bill passed on Thursday, May 29, by a 21-13 vote, and next heads to the state Assembly. If passed, Governor Jerry Brown would then have to sign it into law.

“Liquid sugar is a significant and unique driver of obesity, preventable diabetes, and tooth decay,” Democratic state senator Bill Monning, author of the bill told Reuters. “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.”

California previously banned sodas and junk food from public schools in 2005.

“Putting government warning labels on more than 500 beverages will do nothing to change personal behaviors or teach people about healthy lifestyles,” said CalBev, the California arm of the American Beverage Association, in a statement. “The last thing California needs is more warning labels.”

In 2012, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg aimed to ban sales of oversized sugary soft drinks in New York City, but the move was declared illegal by a state judge after a court challenge by makers of soft drinks and a restaurant group. New York’s highest court has agreed to hear an appeal.



  1. As we’ve said, the proposed warning labels would add bureaucratic red tape – without reducing complex health conditions whatsoever. Science confirms that all calories count, as does physical activity with respect to reducing obesity and obesity-related conditions. Therefore, singling out one source of calories is wholly misguided. With greater knowledge about striking a healthy balance, consumers can make informed choices for themselves utilizing the calorie and ingredient information clearly displayed on products. This includes sugar-sweetened beverages, which can certainly be a part of a sensible diet and active life.
    -American Beverage Association

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