NY Assemblyman: Put Warning Labels On Sugary Drinks

February 10, 2015 | Rhiannon Platt

Despite former Mayor Bloomberg’s failure to ban all sodas larger than 16 ounces, the War on Sugary Drinks continues in New York. Assemblyman Jeff Dinowitz, a Bronx Democrat, is insisting that the drinks carry health warning labels similar to a pack of cigarettes. In defense of the bill, Dinowitz stated, “The legislation is educational. It doesn’t tell people they can’t drink. It doesn’t tell people how much they can drink of the sugary drink.”

Pix11 reports that the proposed label would be mandatory on all sweet beverages, with the exemption of the following:

Beverages that don’t have added sweeteners, that use milk as the principal ingredient, are used as infant formula, and drinks that use 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice would be spared the label, according to the legislation.

The label would read: “Safety Warning: Drinking beverages with added sugar contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay.” Those that don’t comply “would have to pay a fine between $50 and $500.”

Dietician Keri Glassman supported the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, telling CBS, “I think it’s going to make those people who thought to themselves, ‘Oh it’s just a little extra sugar. We just give it to them as a treat. They’re not gulping it down all day long. I think it may get those parents to think twice.” Dinowitz underscored the importance of health labels by citing that $147 billion in nationwide healthcare is due to obesity.

A spokesperson for the American Beverage Association argued that a label was oversimplifying the matter and that, “Obesity and diabetes are far more complicated than a warning label.”

(Photo: Roadsidepictures)