Legislation Requiring Health Warnings Labels on Sugary Drinks Advances in State Senate

March 28, 2019
(SACRAMENTO, CA) – In another important public health victory, Senate Bill (SB) 347, which requires sugary beverages sold in California to have a health-warning label, passed out of the Senate Committee on Health on a 5-1 vote.  
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.  Specifically, SB 347 would require beverages with added sweeteners that are 75 calories or more per 12 ounces to have the following safety-warning label: 
After its passage, the measure’s author, Senator Bill Monning (D-Carmel), said, “Consumers have the right to know about the adverse health impacts of the sugary beverages they purchase.  A health-warning label provides science-based information that will inform consumer choice and lead to better health outcomes for all Californians.”
Comprehensive public health research has shown that sugar-sweetened beverages are one of the main drivers behind the skyrocketing rates of preventable health conditions like obesity and type-2 diabetes. Sugary drinks are unique contributors to the obesity epidemic, as they are the single largest source of added sugars in the American diet, and are a major source of excess calories that often provide no nutritional value.
Senator Monning added, “SB 347 doesn’t take sugary drinks off the shelves, and won’t prohibit Californians from purchasing the beverages they want.  It simply provides consumers with evidence-based health information similar to labels that have been affixed to alcohol and tobacco products for decades.” 
SB 347 now heads to the Senate Committee on Appropriations for its next hearing. 
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