Beverage association sues San Francisco over ad ban, warning labels
The American Beverage Association has sued the city of San Francisco alleging new legislation passed by city officials that requires health warning labels on sugar-sweetened beverages and prohibits the advertisement of them on city property violates the First Amendment, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
A trio of measures targeting sugar-sweetened beverages was unanimously passed by the city’s Board of Supervisors in June. One ordinance requires warning labels on advertisements for beverages containing more than 25 calories per 12 ounces, excluding milk and fruit juices. Under the ordinance, advertisements—on billboards, bus shelters, pedi-cabs, etc.—would be required to carry the message “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.” Cans and bottles do not need to carry the warning.
The second measure prohibits advertising for sugary drinks on city-owned property, while the third bars the city from purchasing any of these beverages to be sold or distributed.
A measure that sought to institute a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages in San Francisco failed in last year’s election, though a similar law passed in neighboring Berkeley, CA.
The beverage industry has remained critical of this battle against sugar-sweetened beverages and continues to argue the public generally does not support these measures.