Soda industry continues San Francisco health warning fight after court setback
The ABA said the warnings were unfair to the beverage industry
The American Beverage Association (ABA) is to continue its fight against health warnings on soda advertisements in San Francisco after it lost a preliminary court battle.
The industry body said it was "disappointed" over the court's ruling this week on a preliminary injunction against the law, which could see billboards and other public advertisements carry warnings that beverages with added sugar contribute to obesity-related illnesses. The law is set to go into effect on 25 July, according to the Wall Street Journal.
"We are reviewing the decision and look forward to making our case on the merits of this ordinance in court," the ABA said.
The ABA, backed by the California Retailers Association and California State Outdoor Advertising Association, filed a complaint against the law last year, the WSJ said this week. The case has yet to be heard however an ABA spokesperson told just-drinks she couldn't speculate on when that will happen.
"We believe that the City of San Francisco's mandate violates the constitutional rights of a select group by unfairly discriminating against one particular category of products, based on one ingredient found in many other products," the ABA said.
Law makers around the world are putting increasing pressure on sugary soft drinks, which health activists link to growing rates of global obesity. The UK government this year announced plans for a sugar tax on beverages, which is expected to come into effect in 2018. Commentators have predicted that companies will look to reformulate recipes and cut calories.
The full San Francisco warning reads: "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."
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