Senate passes bill requiring warning labels for sugary drinks

Senate passes bill requiring warning labels for sugary drinks

Determined to persuade people to drink less soda, California lawmakers on Thursday passed a bill that would require sugary soft drinks to carry warnings about potential diseases that overconsumption of such drinks can create.

If successfully implemented, the measure would put California in the vanguard of an escalating national movement to rein in the consumption of high-calorie drinks, which health experts say are largely to blame for childhood obesity, diabetes, tooth decay and other diseases.

Democratic state senator Bill Monning, who authored the bill, said that the government was responsible to protect the health of the public and ensure safety of its people.

Speaking on the topic, he said, "Liquid sugar is a significant and unique driver of obesity, preventable diabetes, and tooth decay. Some people accuse this (bill) of nanny governing and yet it is the government that's responsible to protect the public health and safety of its people."

California banned sodas and junk food from public schools in 2005. In 2012, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg imposed a ban on sales of sugary soft drinks, but soft drinks companies managed to get the move declared illegal by a state judge. The highest court New York recently agreed to hear an appeal.

The legislation will now be considered by the state Assembly, where it will likely continue to face ongoing tug-of-war between soda industry and public health advocates. Then, it will require Governor Jerry Brown's signature to become a law.

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