Monday, June 1st, a panel of lawmakers and supervisors in San Francisco, California, came together to proceed a series of new laws enforcing companies of sodas and sweetened drinks to receive health labels. Three officials from the Board of Supervisors of San Francisco came up with the proposal for health labels to be placed on sodas and sugary beverages, and if the law is passed it will be the first time a law will help stop the continuous growth of obesity and other health issues in America.
The proposal would ban the advertisement of sugary drinks, and prohibit city departments from purchasing the beverages. The proposals were billed by supervisor Eric Mar, as the second round battle of the failed 2014 proposal: two-cent-per-ounce soda act.
San Francisco supervisors wants soda to receive the health laws because they want to help the youth. City and County of San Francisco relayed a message stating the health labels will state the following “the cause of diabetes, obesity, and tooth decay is led by the indulgence of added sugar beverages.”
The soda industry has spent over $10 million to win the battle of San Francisco’s soda tax in 2014, and has sent solicitors to City Hall informing the supervisors their facts on the amount of sugar found in soda is wrong. The actual amount is no different from the amount of sugar found in doughnuts, cakes, and other sweets.
Over the years the U.S. has protested for ways to reduce the amount of sugar intake from junk foods and drinks, none of the laws have been passed because voters and lawmakers have objected to the passing of the laws and taxes that have been proposed. A supervisor named Malia Cohen reported “African-Americans see twice as many sugary drink adds as white children.” Cohen also told sources “the youth deserves to grow up in an environment where they are not exposed to messages that promote harmful substances, but promotes healthy messages.”
Tuesday, June 9th, the Board of Supervisors will hold their vote to restrain the amount of soda being consumed. One of the three supervisors pushing the decree Scott Wiener told sources “setting strong public policies to reduce the intake of sugary drinks is a very important step forward. The sugary drinks are making people sick and they are fueling the explosion of Type 2 diabetes and many other health problems found in children and adults.”
In defense to Wieners argument, the state’s beverage association, Calbev spokesmen Roger Salazar told sources “it is unfortunate that the Board of Supervisors chooses the most convenient route of putting labels on sugary beverages, instead of finding a solution to stop the complex issue of diabetes and obesity.” Another representative, Lisa Katic also stated “the supervisors are missing important facts from their decision, such as the amount of people who are inactive, and overconsumption and genetics are all results in obesity and health issues that have nothing to do with sugary drinks. “
There are two parts to the proposal which are city funding of the ads to promote the sugar-added drinks will be prohibited, and the city will remove ads on city-owned businesses. Retailers will have to carry warnings on their advertisements that are displayed in their stores, however certain vintage signs would be an exempt from the ban. If the law passes, it will not go into effect until next year, which enables retailers enough time to make the changes within their shops.
The San Francisco law for sodas to receive health labels will make it the first city in the U.S. to force the warning facts. Although soda bottles and cans will not carry the warnings, the banning will affect advertisers in the long run because over 300 buildings in the city of California have sugary beverage drinks on their buildings and it will be left open if the law passes.
By Krystle Mitchell
Star Tribune: San Francisco considers soda ad warnings
Yahoo: San Francisco lawmakers advance soda ban proposal
San Francisco Chronicle: Sweet spot at land uses meeting to dustup over soda
Photo Courtesy of George Thomas’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Photo Courtesy of Gaulsstin’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License