• Last week, Senator Bill Monning (D-Carmel) introduced legislation SB1000 that would place a warning label on sugary drinks in California in an effort to reduce consumption and inform consumers about the health effects of sugar-sweetened beverages. The suggested label would read, “STATE OF CALIFORNIA SAFETY WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay.” A recent poll indicated that 3/4 of Californians would support a warning label. Grist thought the labels weren’t clear enough and suggested a number of other options, including, “Literally just sugar water and chemicals, what are you THINKING.” [Los Angeles Times]
  • The Healthy Child Initiative brought the issue of a penny-per-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages to the Berkeley City Council last week. A question about the tax will be included in the community poll conducted in March, and Council will later decide whether or not it will be put on the November ballot. It’s unclear if the tax will be a special tax (requiring 2/3 voter approval), with funds earmarked for child nutrition and education programs, or a general tax (requiring 50% voter approval) with revenue going into the city’s general funds. More information about the HCI can be found at their Berkeley vs. Big Soda website. [Berkeleyside]
  • The next president of the Institute of Medicine is on the PepsiCo Board of Directors and has previously received substantial compensation from the company in the forms of money and shares. The IOM announcement makes no mention of his PepsiCo position. [Forbes]
  • Speaking of PepsiCo, we know that beverage companies have gotten more and more creative with their marketing to kids, specifically minorities – but a new game promoting Gatorade (owned by PepsiCo) has gone too far. The video game, called Bolt, actively promotes the idea that Gatorade is better than water – as the BeyondChron article states, “To undermine the benefits of water is irresponsible. It goes over the line.” Agreed! [BeyondChron]