Lawmakers reject sugary drink warnings bill

Lawmakers reject sugary drink warnings bill

California lawmakers on Tuesday rejected a bill that would have made it mandatory for beverage companies to label their sodas and other sugary drinks with health warnings.

Lawmakers rejected Sen. Bill Monning's SB1000 bill by 7-8 as they doubted a label would change consumer behavior. The bill needed at least 10 votes to succeed.

Producers of certain sodas and sugary beverages like fruit drinks and energy drinks would have to label their products with "STATE OF CALIFORNIA SAFETY WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay."

Monning, the sponsor of the bill, and other supporters claimed that warning labels would be the most effective method to educate people about the potential health risks from the consumption of sugary drinks. They used warning labels on cigarette and alcohol products as a model.

Monning said that the most difficult challenge in the world of medicine was to change behavior, and stressed that a person could not start to even make a commitment to change behavior if he/she does not have the right information.

But, representatives of the soda and sugary drinks industry vehemently argued that the bill was unfair as it would not be applicable to other foods and drinks, such as chocolate milk and lattes.

Sugary drinks have been blamed for a number of health risks, such as tooth decay and obesity, particularly in children.

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