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Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Warning Label Bills Unfairly Single Out One Product
By News Release @ 5:11 PM :: 4545 Views :: Small Business

Read the fine print! The legislature is considering putting "warning labels" about obesity and diabetes on locally made beverages with as few as 5 calories!

Let's celebrate local companies...not harm them with senseless regulations like warning labels on locally made tropical juice concentrate.

Please help us get the word out. Obesity and diabetes are more complicated than putting warning labels on beverages with as few as 5 calories! Efforts to require warning labels on sweetened beverages won't make people healthier!

 

Warning Label Bill Unfairly Singles Out One Product

News Release from Hawaii for Food and Beverage Choice February 11, 2015

HONOLULU, HI – Hawai’i for Food and Beverage Choice, in partnership with the American Beverage Association, today announced its opposition to proposed legislation (S.B. 1270 and H.B. 1438) that would place warning labels on hundreds of sugar-sweetened beverages across the state.

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The bill unfairly singles out one industry by targeting how soft drinks, juice drinks, organic beverages, sports drinks, ready-to-drink teas and many other beverages are packaged and sold statewide. The proposed legislation would apply to most sweetened beverages that contain as few as five calories per serving. However, it does not require labeling on sugar-rich cupcakes, donuts, and processed foods, which account for nearly twice as many calories in the average American diet as sugar-sweetened beverages[i].

According to government statistics, consumption of added sugars in beverages has been declining for more than a decade, while rates of diabetes are increasing.

“Obesity and diabetes are serious health conditions that are more complicated than a warning label. It is counterproductive to suggest that legislation affecting only beverages and not other food and beverages will be effective,” said David Thorp, Senior Director of Government Affairs with the American Beverage Association. “If consumption of added sugars in beverages is going down and diabetes is going up, then how are soda and other sweetened beverages driving the problem?”

S.B. 1270 and H.B. 1438 would not promote healthy lifestyle choices, and would merely serve to confuse consumers by only labeling certain beverages. Further, it would place an additional burden on distributors, retailers, vending operators and restaurants who would be required to place a warning label on beverage containers, vending and fountain machines, as well as in restaurants.

“The labeling bill will only confuse consumers, rather than empower them to make the choices that are right for them,” added Thorp.

The beverage industry continues to take proactive measures to encourage those living in Hawaii to make informed choices and adopt active and balanced lifestyles, including voluntarily labeling the front of every can, bottle, and pack produced with easy-to-ready calorie information as part of the “Clear on Calories program. It has also launched a national, multi-year effort, in partnership with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, to reduce beverage calories consumed per person by 20 percent by 2025 through increasing the availability of no- and lower-calorie options and smaller portion sizes. By partnering with First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” anti-obesity campaign, President Bill Clinton and The Alliance for a Healthier Generation, the beverage industry is advancing comprehensive solutions that will have a meaningful and lasting impact on communities nationwide.

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[i] Center for Disease Control (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics; USDA Agricultural Research Service, 2000 - 2012.

Status, Text: S.B. 1270 and H.B. 1438

SB1270 Hearing Feb 13

HB1438 Hearing Feb 11

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