Local beverage industry scores major victory over health advocates
California’s beverage industry scored a major victory over health advocates earlier this week when California lawmakers rejected a bill that would require producers of soda and sugary drinks to label their products with health warnings.
Lawmakers rejected the bill, which was authored by Senator Bill Monning (D-Carmel), saying they doubt the measure would offer any public health benefits.
Testifying before a committee, a lobbyist representing PepsiCo and the California Retailers Association stressed that the bill would not provide consumers with meaningful information to make healthier choices. It might just confuse people further.
Opposing the bill, lobbyist John Latimer said, “This bill would not give consumers meaningful, helpful information. Instead it will disparage many hundreds of beverages that can be safely consumed and responsibly added as part of a healthy diet.”
He added that a piece of chocolate cake that contains nearly 2,700 calories didn’t need a warning label, then why a 75-calorie beverage should be forced to have a health warning label.
The Senate Bill 1000 managed to pass the Senate in May with the bare minimum 21 votes required to advance, but the Assembly Health Committee stopped its progress earlier this week.
Health advocates have long been blaming soda and other sugary drinks for various health risks, including obesity and tooth decay.
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