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Sugary beverage labeling bill approved by senate, goes to assembly

This October 23, 2012 photo illustration shows a variety of Monster Energy drinks in Washington, DC. The US Food and Drug Administration is investigating five deaths and a heart attack for possible links to consumption of Monster Energy drinks, an agency spokeswoman said Tuesday.
Energy drinks and sugary sodas would have to carry a label warning about obesity, diabetes and tooth decay if a bill approved by the state senate Thursday becomes law.

The California state senate approved a bill Thursday that would require warning labels on sugary drinks. It now moves on to the assembly.

The senate voted 21-13 for the measure, SB 1000, which would mandate slapping a warning label on beverages such as sodas and energy drinks. Consumers would be reminded that sugary drinks contribute to obesity, diabetes and tooth decay.

Health advocates, doctors and community groups support the bill, sponsored by Sen. Bill Monning (D-Carmel). They believe labels could help decrease the rate of diabetes because often consumers don't make the link when they are having sugary beverages.

CalBev, which is part of the American Beverage Association, said it is misleading to suggest that soft drink consumption is responsible for weight gain.  It argues food has more sugar than beverages.

The assembly has until the end of August to vote on the bill. If it passes and Gov. Jerry Brown signs it, California would become the first state to mandate warning labels on sugary drinks.