SAN FRANCISCO. Judge upholds SF’s pioneering law on sugary beverage ads (SF Gate)

San Francisco’s first-in-the-nation law requiring display ads for sugary drinks to carry warnings of increased risks of obesity, diabetes and tooth decay can take effect in July as scheduled, a federal judge ruled Tuesday in rejecting a challenge by the beverage industry.

“The warning required by the city ordinance is factual and accurate,” and is a “legitimate action to protect public health and safety,” said U.S. District Judge Edward Chen, who turned aside industry arguments that the advertising message is misleading and violates free speech.

The American Beverage Association, the California Retailers Association and the California State Outdoor Advertising Association sought the injunction against the requirement.

The ordinance, passed unanimously by the Board of Supervisors last year and due to take effect July 25, requires publicly displayed advertising for sugar-sweetened beverages to display a warning label that takes up 20 percent of their advertising space, attributing the message to the city. It doesn’t apply to ads in newspapers, magazines, television, menus or product labels.

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