Warnings over sugary drinks get initial OK in San Francisco
Sodas and other sugary drinks contribute to serious health problems, San Francisco supervisors determined, as they voted unanimously last week to approve health warnings on advertising for such beverages.
The soda industry said it might sue to block the ordinance, while supporters said they will seek to expand the ad labeling beyond the city. It’s believed San Francisco would be the first place in the country to require such warnings if its Board of Supervisors gives a second approval and the mayor allows it to go into effect.
Efforts for a statewide warning failed this year, as did a city ballot measure last year to impose a tax on sugary drinks.
The drink labels would read: “WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay. This is a message from the City and County of San Francisco.”
The ordinance defines sugar-sweetened beverages as drinks with more than 25 calories from sweeteners per 12 ounces. The proposal would require the warning on print advertising within city limits—billboards, walls, taxis and buses. It would not apply to ads appearing in newspapers and circulars, or on broadcast outlets and the Internet.