Beverage Group Sues City Over Soda Warnings, Advertising Ban

The American Beverage Association has sued the city of San Francisco, claiming new legislation requiring health warning labels on sugary beverages and prohibiting advertisements of them on city property violates the First Amendment.

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The American Beverage Association has sued the city of San Francisco, claiming new legislation requiring health warning labels on sugary beverages and prohibiting advertisements of them on city property violates the First Amendment.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports the association filed the lawsuit on Friday.

The lawsuit says the city "is trying to ensure that there is no free marketplace of ideas, but instead only a government-imposed, one-sided public 'dialogue' on the topic — in violation of the First Amendment."

The Board of Supervisors in June unanimously approved an ordinance in June that requires health warnings on ads for sugary drinks. The measure requires those warnings be placed along ads on billboards, buses, transit shelters, posters and stadiums.

The label would read: "WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes and tooth decay."

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