Legislation Requiring Safety Warning Label on Sugary Drinks Introduced in California Senate

February 20, 2019
(SACRAMENTO, CA) – In an effort to combat the obesity and type-2 diabetes crisis perpetuated by the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), Senator Bill Monning (D-Carmel) introduced Senate Bill (SB) 347, which requires sugary beverages sold in California to have a safety warning label. 
 
“California continues to see a rise in obesity and type 2 diabetes among its residents, and physicians are seeing these health impacts appear in patients at younger and younger ages,” Senator Monning said.  “Strong and compelling scientific evidence clearly shows that drinking sodas, sports drinks, and other sugary beverages heightens your risk for these preventable chronic diseases.  Consumers have the right to know about these harmful health impacts, and SB 347 will empower Californians to make healthier choices.”
 
Research has shown that drinking sugar-sweetened beverages has far worse health impacts on your body than consuming the same amount of sugar when it is in foods, due to its damaging effect on the body’s metabolism, liver, and pancreas.  Consumer education through the labeling of products can have a direct impact on consumer purchasing behavior, and SB 347 will provide Californians with the information they need to make healthier choices for themselves and their families. 
 
“As a physician, I regularly see the adverse effects sugar has taken on kids and the lack of public awareness regarding this health crisis,” said Dr. Robert Lustig, Emeritus Professor of pediatrics in the UC San Francisco Division of Endocrinology. “Sugar is the ‘alcohol of the child.’ Every can of soda does the same thing to your liver as a shot of vodka. No wonder children now get the diseases of alcohol – type 2 diabetes and fatty liver disease – without the alcohol. We have warning labels on alcohol. We need them for sugar for the same reason.”
 
SB 347 would require beverages with added sweeteners of 75 calories or more per 12 ounces to have the following safety-warning label: 
 
 
 Contact:  Heather Caden (916) 651-4017 or heather.caden@sen.ca.gov