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Sugary Drink Ad Warnings Poised for Passage in San Francisco

Submitted by Food Democracy Now on June 10, 2015 - 2:51pm

By: Helena Bottemiller Evich

San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener is confident his city’s government will pass his ordinance today and become the first in the country to mandate advertisements for sugar-sweetened beverages also carry a warning message.

The ordinance will be voted on by the 11-member Board of Supervisors at a 2 p.m. PST meeting today.

“I’m hoping it will pass unanimously,” Wiener, the measure’s sponsor, told POLITICO.

The ordinance would apply not to cans and bottles of drinks or to the television ads that promote them, but on any billboards advertising the products inside city limits. The ads would have to include the phrase: "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 warning would have to cover at least 20 percent of the ad space.

“This is a major step forward in terms of making it government policy that these drinks are significant factor in making people sick…and it should be government policy to reduce consumption,” said Wiener.

The city’s vote hasn’t yet attracted much national press, but Weiner said he believes it will spark nationwide interest and that politicians will consider similar measures in their cities.

The board will also vote on two other measures targeting sugary drinks, including a ban on any sugar sweetened-beverage ads on city-owned property and another blocking city tax dollars from being used to purchase the products.

Originally Published: Politico

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