California bill to
require warning labels on sugary drinks dies
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[June 18, 2014]
By Sharon Bernstein
SACRAMENTO Calif. (Reuters)
- A California bill to require sugary soft drinks to
carry labels warning of obesity, diabetes and tooth
decay died in the Legislature on Tuesday, the latest in
a string of defeats for health advocates trying to
dissuade people from drinking soda.
"I remain committed to pursuing this issue and being part of a broad
public health campaign to educate communities about the proven
health risks of sugary drinks,” said Democratic Senator Bill Monning,
who failed last year to pass a measure enacting a tax on the drinks.
“Protecting the public’s health from the adverse effects of these
products will help combat the diabetes and obesity epidemics in
California,” he said.
Monning's measure passed the state Senate in May, but failed on
Tuesday in the Assembly's health committee.
Efforts to curtail consumption of sugary drinks through taxes and
other efforts have met fierce resistance from the U.S. food and
beverage industry, which opposed both Monning bills.
Public health advocates across the country have clamored for ways to
reduce consumption of sugary drinks and junk food, but lawmakers and
voters have generally opposed enacting taxes or other regulations.
Two California cities, Richmond and El Monte, failed two years ago
in their attempts to become the first in the country to impose taxes
of a penny an ounce on businesses that sell sugary drinks.
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In late May, lawmakers in Illinois rejected a measure that would
have taxed soda, and an effort by former New York Mayor Michael
Bloomberg to ban the largest sugary drink sizes was overturned by a
(Reporting by Sharon Bernstein; Editing by Peter Cooney)
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