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Court Blocks San Francisco’s Health Warnings On Sugary Drinks

American Beverage Association

Last updated on June 13th, 2024 at 04:51 pm

The U.S. Appeals Court for the 9th Circuit has blocked a 2015 San Francisco ordinance that requires advertisers of sugary drinks to post health warnings.

The ordinance required advertisers who post advertisements for sugar-sweetened beverages include the following statement: “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.”

Sugar-sweetened beverage is defined as soda and other non-alcoholic beverages that contain one or more added sweeteners and more than 25 calories per 12 fluid ounces of beverage.

The plaintiffs, the American Beverage Association, the California Retailers Association and the California State Outdoor Advertising Association, alleged that the ordinance violated their First Amendment right to freedom of speech.

The American Beverage Association issued a statement saying that the “decision affirms our position that the San Francisco warning mandate not only violates the constitutional right to free speech but it is also deceptive and misleading to consumers. America’s beverage companies believe there are better ways to help people reduce their sugar consumption. That’s why we’re taking steps to reduce sugar in our beverages, offer more choices with less sugar and put calorie information up front so people can make informed decisions about their drinks.”

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The Shelby Report delivers complete grocery news and supermarket insights nationwide through the distribution of five monthly regional print and digital editions. Serving the retail food trade since 1967, The Shelby Report is “Region Wise. Nationwide.”

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