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San Francisco supervisors will be the first place in the US to require warning labels on softs drinks and other sugary liquids.
The health warnings, which will take up at least 20 per cent of the labelling space, will read: “WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay. This is a message from the City and County of San Francisco.”
The legislation defines sugar-sweetened beverages as any drinks with more than 25 calories from sweeteners per 350 ml. Low calorie and mid calorie drinks, like Coke Zero and Coke Life, won’t be required to have the warning label. Milk and 100 per cent natural fruit and vegetable juice drinks are also exempt from the warning.
As well as labels on drinks, the law will require any outdoor advertising-billboards, walls, taxis and buses- to also carry the message. Print advertising is exempt.
Supervisor Scott Wiener, who proposed the warning label, said in a statement: “These health warnings will help provide people information they need to make informed decisions about what beverages they consume. Requiring health warnings on soda ads also makes clear that these drinks aren’t harmless — indeed, quite the opposite — and that the puppies, unicorns, and rainbows depicted in soda ads aren’t reality.”
“San Francisco has sent a clear message that we need to do more to protect our community’s health,” he added.