With diabetes and obesity rates a major source of public health concern, San Francisco is becoming the first city to require health warnings on advertisements for soda and other "sugary drinks."
Following in the footsteps of New York City—where former mayor Mike Bloomberg famously took aim at salt, soda and trans-fats, among other things—San Francisco plans to tag certain beverages with warning labels. The language on the ads will read: "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."
In an interview with CNBC's On the Money, Rick Berman, a beverage industry advocate, says the warning label is unnecessary and "fails the logic test."
He added: "If you've got an IQ above room temperature, you know that soda has sugar in it and it has calories in it." Berman also questioned why the Golden Gate City is specifically singling out one product category.
"Cakes, cookies, candy, ice cream—they all contribute to obesity," Berman said. "So, if you going to have the logic that you have to put warnings out on … these soft drinks, obviously you have to put it out on others."
In a separate interview with CNBC, Scott Wiener—sponsor of the bill and a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors—addressed that criticism.
"Their argument is the same as saying, 'Well, cigarettes aren't the only cause of lung cancer and emphysema, therefore, don't regulate cigarettes.' "