By Max Greenberg
Sugary Drink and Foods Could Contain Warning LabelsUploaded: Nov 23, 2015
San Francisco lawmakers unanimously voted in early July 2015 to put warning labels on all advertisements for sugary beverages in the city. This would have been the first time any governing body in the US would have required such labeling. The warning was supposed to look like this:
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.
Then, on July 27, 2015, this was reported by CBS news: The American Beverage Association has sued the city of San Francisco, claiming new legislation requiring health warning labels on sugary beverages and prohibiting advertisements of them on city property violates the First Amendment.
I'm not sure where this lawsuit is right now, but I haven't been able to find any warning labels or notices on ads in SF, so I'll assume this thing is nicely hung up. But while we wait for San Francisco to prevail, why don't we have our local city council(s) consider and vote on a similar measure right here, right now. Here's a proposal:
- All food products (except for fruits) and drinks, containing sugar or concocted or artificial sweeteners, would be required to have warning labels such as the warning proposed above by the City and County of SF, adding the words "...and eating foods...)
- All advertising for such drink/food products would have warning labels as well (similar to the ones for cigarettes.)
- And one more thing: All fast food joints would need to fly a warning label flag/banner over the front door.
I know it's hard to mess with people's (food manufacturer's) First Amendment Rights, and they will and are spending millions to defeat anything that has the slightest hint of curtailing their sugar delivery systems, but hey, we live in Innovation Valley and something like this could have a positive effect on our health. And in terms of the pursuit of happiness: you can still buy and consume all the sugar and sweeteners that you want to. But at least you would have been warned every time you pop a can filled with white death.