Davis To Sign Bills Restricting Soda Sales in Elementary, Middle Schools
Gov. Gray Davis (D) yesterday said he will sign two bills related to the sale of soft drinks in elementary and middle schools, the Los Angeles Times reports (Vogel, Los Angeles Times, 9/17). One measure (SB 677), introduced by Sen. Deborah Ortiz (D-Sacramento), would bar elementary and middle schools from selling soda during school hours beginning July 1, 2004. Schools could instead sell milk, water, fruit juice and fruit-based drinks that contain at least 50% fruit juice and have no added sweeteners. The legislation also would allow soda sales more than 30 minutes before or after school, at school athletic events or as part of student fundraising events, and children could still bring soda from home to school (California Healthline, 9/2). Another bill (SB 65) would require public hearings on contracts between schools and soft drink companies (California Healthline, 2/11). Davis said the bills would reduce students' risk of becoming obese by restricting access to "unhealthy, calorie-rich beverages" (Davis release, 9/16). Sen. Tom Torlakson (D-Antioch), who sponsored SB 65, said schools will not necessarily lose money by stopping soft drink sales because soda makers often also sell fruit juice and water. Davis is expected to sign the bills into law within the next few days (Los Angeles Times, 9/17).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.