Job Killer Update: CalChamber Identifies Seventh Bill

 The California Chamber of Commerce has added a California-only label warning bill to the job killer list, bringing the current number of bills to seven. The latest bill, SB 300 (Monning; D-Carmel), will be considered by the Senate Health Committee on April 19.

SB 300 (Monning; D-Carmel) establishes the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Health Warning Act, which would prohibit a person from distributing, selling, or offering for sale a sugar-sweetened beverage in a sealed beverage container, or a multipack of sugar-sweetened beverages, in this state unless the beverage container or multipack bears a health warning.

CalChamber has identified this as a job killer because this warning may lead to unfair competition violations and ultimately class action suits.

SB 300 requires this warning be placed on certain beverages – “STATE OF CALIFORNIA SAFETY WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, type 2 diabetes, and tooth decay.” The bill is very specific about the size of type, placement of warning and characters per linear inch on each product according to the amount of beverage contained. Vending machines, self-serve dispensers and sit down restaurants all must provide the warning.

CalChamber’s analysis finds that this bill exposes manufacturers and retailers of sweetened beverages to significant liability. Consumers would be able to sue for a violation of this new labeling requirement under California’s Unfair Competition Law. So not only could a business incur a civil penalty of up to $500, it also would have to defend against lawsuits.

For the current list of job killer bills, visit CalChamber will continue to identify other job killers as bills are amended or further analysis reveals detrimental impacts of other legislative proposals.

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