Legislation has been introduced that would require sugar sweetened beverages to sport a new warning label.
Pending the approval of new legislation by the Baltimore City Council’s Health Committee, Baltimore may soon become the second city in the U.S. to require warning labels on sugar sweetened beverages.
According to a report from WBAL News Radio, the Committee will hold a hearing on Tuesday, June 7 to discuss the bill.
In addition to requiring warning labels on sugary beverages sold in the city, the bill would also require health warning labels to be placed on restaurant menus, advertisements and in stores that sell these products, WBAL News Radio reported.
The labels, which would be similar to those found on cigarette packaging, are intended to help consumers make informed decisions when considering the purchase and consumption of such beverages.
While health advocates are largely in favor of the proposed warning labels, retailers and the beverage industry has expressed a number of concerns in relation to the proposed legislation, according to WBAL News Radio. Some retailers believe that the mandate would discourage new merchants from choosing to grow their businesses in Baltimore, and others have expressed concern that the labels would send a negative message to consumers, making their dining and shopping in the city less enjoyable.
WBAL News Radio reported that the beverage industry has already developed real solutions to offer a wide variety of options, so that consumers can make their own lifestyle choices when it comes to the consumption of beverages. Because the industry offers better-for-you beverage options, it seems unnecessary that there should be misleading warnings on the sweet beverages that consumers know and love. Retailers and beverage makers feel that the government should be more concerned with encouraging consumers to be mindful of the beverage choices they make, and less concerned with steering them away from certain beverages that are deemed unhealthy or hazardous to one’s health.