California introduces Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Warning Label SB 203
Posted by Hector Gutierrez, Food Systems & Urban Agriculture Policy Analyst on March 10th, 2015
On February 11, California Senate Majority Leader Bill Monning introduced SB 203, which would establish the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act. The bill would prohibit a person from distributing, selling, or offering for sale a sugar-sweetened beverage in a sealed beverage container, or a multipack of sugar-sweetened beverages, in California unless the sugary beverages bears a safety warning. The label, developed by a national panel of public health experts, would read: STATE OF CALIFORNIA SAFETY WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay.
SB 203 would also require every person who owns, leases, or otherwise legally controls the premises where a vending machine or beverage dispensing machine is located, to place a specified safety warning in certain locations, including on the exterior of any vending machine that includes a sugar-sweetened beverage for sale. If enacted, the bill will begin July 1, 2016. Any violations not complying with warning label provisions or regulations adopted will be punishable by a civil penalty of not less than $50, but no greater than $500. Monies collected from the violations would go into a Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Fund. The bill would allocate moneys in this fund, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to the department for the purpose of enforcing those provisions.
For more information, please see SB 203 or contact Community Health Councils’ Policy Director, Gwendolyn Flynn at GFlynn@chc-inc.org.