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Soft Drink Labeling Bill Goes Flat

Photo credit: The Upstairs Room via Compfight

Pepsi and Coke vending machines are pictured, May 4, 2008.

A state senate bill that would have required health-warning labels on soft drinks has lost its fizz.

A state Senate bill that called for all 12-ounce sugary drinks with more than 75 calories to carry a warning label has lost its fizz.

The label would have said sweetened drinks contribute to obesity and diabetes.

Business groups lobbied hard against the bill.

The soft drink industry spent millions to defeat soda tax ballot measures in the cities of Richmond and El Monte last year.

Bob Ackerman, executive director of the California Nevada Soft Drink Association, said his industry already provides ample information to consumers.

“We have front and package labeling now with caloric content on each container," Ackerman explained. "We have it on the front of the vending machine, it’s on the fountain when a consumer makes a beverage choice. We think that’s much more effective in educating people about the need for balancing caloric intake.”

The measure would have added 12 cents to the cost of an average soda. The money, an estimated $2.6 billion a year, would have funded childhood obesity prevention programs.

Supporters may try to revive the bill later this spring.

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