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California Lawmakers Propose New Sugary-Beverage Warning Label

Vox Efx / Flickr

Vox Efx / Flickr

California lawmakers are turning their attention to a proposal requiring warning labels on sugary drinks, even though a similar bill failed last year.

The proposal would mandate health advisories on sodas, sweet teas and energy drinks with 75 calories or more per 12 ounces.

Democratic Senator Bill Monning says the evidence of the link between sugar, obesity and diabetes is "rock solid."

"The trajectories of preventable type-two diabetes remain out-of-control, and we think from a public health point of view, the focus on sugar-sweetened beverages remains critical," says Monning.

But Roger Salazar of Californians for Food and Beverage Choice, which speaks for the beverage industry, says serious health conditions demand more complex solutions than warning labels. Some milk-based products would be exempt.

"Singling out one industry... all it will do is create confusion and send a confusing message to consumers about what causes obesity," says Salazar.

Monning had previously introduced a soda tax, which failed. He says his warning label measure does not require a two-thirds majority vote in the legislature.


Pauline Bartolone


Pauline Bartolone has been a journalist for more than 15 years, during which she was Capital Public Radio’s healthcare reporter from 2011-2015. Her work has aired frequently on National Public Radio.  Read Full Bio 

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