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California Lawmakers Revisit Proposal To Put Health Advisory on Sodas

Valley Public Radio

California lawmakers will be taking another look at a proposal that would require warning labels on sugary drinks. As Health Care Reporter Pauline Bartolone in Sacramento explains, the bill is similar to one that failed last year.

The proposal would mandate health advisories on sodas, sweet teas and energy drinks with 75 calories or more per 12 ounces.

Democratic Senator Bill Monning says the evidence of the link between sugar, obesity and diabetes is "rock solid."

Monning: "The trajectories of preventable type-two diabetes remain out-of-control, and we think from a public health point of view, the focus on sugar-sweetened beverages remains critical."

But Roger Salazar of Californians for Food and Beverage Choice, which speaks for the beverage industry, says serious health conditions demand more complex solutions than warning labels. Some milk-based products would be exempt.

Salazar: "Singling out one industry... all it will do is create confusion and send a confusing message to consumers about what causes obesity."

Monning had previously introduced a soda tax, which failed. He says his warning label measure does not require a two-thirds majority vote in the legislature. 

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