Sacramento Bee Endorses Senate Bill to Make School Soda Sales Illegal
Opponents of a Senate bill that would stop schools from selling soda to students need to "step in and act like adults" and do what is in the "best interests of students," a Sacramento Bee editorial today states (Sacramento Bee, 5/15). The bill (SB 1520), sponsored by Sen. Deborah Ortiz (D-Sacramento), would phase out soft drink sales on public school campuses over five years, banning the beverages entirely by 2007 (California Healthline, 5/1). Bill opponents Sen. Bruce McPherson (R-Santa Cruz), who is running for lieutenant governor, and Sen. Jack O'Connell (D-Santa Barbara), who is running for superintendent of public instruction, have both received campaign money from soft-drink organizations, according to the Bee, which adds that if they "think their contributions from the soda companies and bottlers are more important than having the schools set the right example on nutrition for children, they're looking for the wrong jobs." Other bill opponents say that regulating school soda sales is a local issue, but the Bee argues that the bill is necessary because school officials have been unsuccessful in battling the financial incentives offered by soda companies. The Bee concludes that schools should not be "profiting at the expense of the health of the next generation," adding that legislators who "hide behind the excuse of local control are only promoting childhood diabetes, obesity and bone" damage while benefiting from soda industry contributions (Sacramento Bee, 5/15).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.