In retaliation against San Francisco’s newly passed labeling legislation — which requires advertisements for drinks containing added sugar to include a warning label about the adverse effects of sugar — the American Beverage Association has filed a lawsuit against the city, citing the First Amendment.
In the lawsuit, the ABA claims that San Francisco 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.”
Furthermore, the ABA says that the warning singles out sugary beverages, while advertisements for other sugary foods do not carry a warning. Advertisements posted in San Francisco will soon feature the following message:
“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.”
These signs will be posted in public advertising spaces including billboards, buses, transit shelters, posters, and stadiums.