NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A2320B
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the agriculture and markets law, in
relation to the labeling of sugar-sweetened beverages with warnings
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
Requires a safety warning label on certain sugar-sweetened beverages,
concentrates used to make sugar-sweetened beverages, beverage dispensing
machines, and vending machines that dispense sugar-sweetened beverages
in order to increase public awareness regarding the health ailments
associated with consumption of sugar sweetened beverages, especially
obesity, diabetes and tooth decay.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section 1 sets forth the short title of the bill, which is the "sugar-
sweetened beverages safety warning act."
Section 2 amends the agriculture and markets law by adding a new section
204-e, which provides for definitions relating to the implementation of
this act, the labeling requirements for sealed beverage containers,
multipacks of sugar-sweetened beverages in sealed beverage containers,
concentrates, vending machines, and beverages dispensing machines. In
addition, Section 2 provides for enforcement language, including certain
penalty provisions, while also providing for clarification of violations
as they relate to certain retailers.
Section 3 is a severability clause. Section 4 sets the effective date.
The prevalence of obesity in the state has increased dramatically over
the past 30 years. Although no group has escaped the epidemic, low
income and minority communities are disproportionately affected. Obesi-
ty is of particular concern because it is also attributed to health
ailments such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, asthma high blood
cholesterol, high blood pressure and certain types of cancer.
Medical costs are also a growing concern; people who are obese are
dramatically higher than for those of normal weight. Overweight and
obesity account for $147 billion in health care cost nationally, or 9
percent of all medical spending, with one-half of these costs paid
publicly through the Medicare and Medicaid programs which put a strain
on the states limited resources.
Individuals who drink one to two sugar sweetened beverages per day have
a 26 percent higher risk for developing type II diabetes. Sugar sweet-
ened beverages are a unique contributor to excess caloric consumption.
There is extensive research on the link between obesity, tooth decay,
and diabetes to the consumption of sweetened beverages such as soft
drinks, energy drinks, sweet teas and sports drinks. Evidence suggests
that health warnings can increase knowledge and reduce of harmful
products such as sugar-sweetened beverages.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2013-14- A.10172- Referred to Consumer Protection
To be determined.
This act shall take effect one year after it shall have become a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK
2015-2016 Regular Sessions
January 15, 2015
Introduced by M. of A. DINOWITZ, GOTTFRIED, MOSLEY, HIKIND, JAFFEE,
SIMON, JOYNER, COLTON, GALEF, STECK, ARROYO, LINARES, SIMOTAS --
Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A. BROOK-KRASNY, COOK, GLICK, PERRY --
read once and referred to the Committee on Consumer Affairs and
Protection -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as
amended and recommitted to said committee -- again reported from said
committee with amendments, ordered reprinted as amended and recommit-
ted to said committee
AN ACT to amend the agriculture and markets law, in relation to the
labeling of sugar-sweetened beverages with warnings
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. Short title. This act shall be known and may be cited as
2 the "sugar-sweetened beverages safety warning act".
3 § 2. The agriculture and markets law is amended by adding a new
4 section 204-e to read as follows:
5 § 204-e. Labeling of sugar-sweetened beverages. 1. For the purposes of
6 this section:
7 (a) "Beverage container" means any sealed or unsealed container
8 regardless of size or shape including, but not limited to, those made of
9 glass, metal, paper, plastic, or any other material or combination of
10 materials that is used or intended to be used to hold a sugar-sweetened
11 beverage for individual sale to a consumer.
12 (b) "Beverage dispensing machine" means any device that mixes concen-
13 trate with any one or more other ingredients, and dispenses the result-
14 ing mixture into an unsealed container as a ready-to-drink beverage.
15 (c) "Caloric sweetener" means any substance containing calories, suit-
16 able for human consumption, that humans perceive as sweet and shall
17 include, but not be limited to, sucrose, fructose, glucose, and other
18 sugars and fruit juice concentrates. "Caloric" means a substance that
19 adds calories to the diet of the individual who consumes such substance.
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
A. 2320--B 2
1 (d) "Concentrate" means a syrup or powder that is used or intended to
2 be used for mixing, compounding or making a sugar-sweetened beverage.
3 (e) "Consumer" means an individual who purchases a sugar-sweetened
4 beverage for a purpose other than resale.
5 (f) "Distribute" means to sell or otherwise provide a product to any
6 person for resale.
7 (g) "Menu or menu board" means the primary writing of a public food
8 service establishment, as defined in subdivision three of section thir-
9 teen hundred ninety-nine-n of the public health law, from which a
10 consumer makes an order selection, which can be in different forms such
11 as booklets, pamphlets, or single sheets of paper, and can be located
12 inside or outside of such public food service establishment.
13 (h) "Natural fruit juice" means the original liquid resulting from the
14 pressing of fruit, the liquid resulting from the reconstitution of
15 natural fruit juice concentrate or the liquid resulting from the resto-
16 ration of water to dehydrated natural fruit juice.
17 (i) "Natural vegetable juice" means the original liquid resulting from
18 the pressing of vegetables, the liquid resulting from the reconstitution
19 of natural vegetable juice concentrate or the liquid resulting from the
20 restoration of water to dehydrated natural vegetable juice.
21 (j) "Powder" means a solid mixture with added caloric sweetener used
22 in making, mixing or compounding a sugar-sweetened beverage by mixing
23 such solid mixture with any one or more other ingredients including, but
24 not limited to, water, ice, syrup, simple syrup, fruits, vegetables,
25 fruit juice, or carbonation or other gas.
26 (k) "Principal display panel" means the part of a label that is most
27 likely to be displayed, presented, shown or examined under customary
28 conditions of display for retail sale.
29 (l) "Sealed beverage container" means a beverage container holding a
30 beverage that is closed or sealed before being offered for sale to a
32 (m) (1) "Sugar-sweetened beverage" means any sweetened nonalcoholic
33 beverage, carbonated or noncarbonated, sold for human consumption that
34 has added caloric sweeteners and which contains seventy-five calories or
35 more per twelve fluid ounces.
36 (2) Such term shall not include:
37 (A) any beverage containing one hundred percent natural fruit juice or
38 natural vegetable juice with no added caloric sweeteners;
39 (B) any liquid product manufactured for any of the following uses and
40 commonly referred to as a "dietary aid":
41 (i) an oral nutritional therapy for persons who cannot absorb or meta-
42 bolize dietary nutrients from food or beverages,
43 (ii) a source of necessary nutrition used as a result of a medical
44 condition, or
45 (iii) an oral electrolyte solution for infants and children formulated
46 to prevent dehydration due to illness;
47 (C) any product for consumption by infants and that is commonly
48 referred to as "infant formula";
49 (D) any beverage whose principal ingredient by weight is milk; or
50 (E) any alcoholic beverage that is subject to regulation by the alco-
51 holic beverage control law.
52 (n) "Syrup" means a liquid mixture with added caloric sweetener used
53 in making, mixing or compounding a sugar-sweetened beverage by mixing
54 such liquid mixture with any one or more other ingredients, including,
55 but not limited to, water, ice, a powder, simple syrup, fruits, vegeta-
56 bles, fruit juice, vegetable juice, or carbonation or other gas.
A. 2320--B 3
1 (o) "Unsealed beverage container" means a beverage container into
2 which a beverage is dispensed or poured at the premises where the bever-
3 age is purchased including, but not limited to, a container for fountain
5 2. (a) No person shall distribute, sell or offer for sale a sugar-
6 sweetened beverage in a sealed beverage container unless such container
7 bears the following safety warning and otherwise meets all of the
8 requirements of this subdivision:
9 "SAFETY WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar contributes to
10 obesity, diabetes and tooth decay."
11 (b) The safety warning required by paragraph (a) of this subdivision
12 shall be displayed in a clear and conspicuous manner and readily legible
13 under ordinary conditions on the principal display panel of the sealed
14 beverage container, separate and apart from all other information, and
15 shall be on a contrasting background. The entire safety warning shall
16 appear in bold type.
17 (c) If the safety warning required by paragraph (a) of this subdivi-
18 sion is not printed directly on the beverage container, the safety warn-
19 ing shall be affixed to the beverage container in such a manner that it
20 cannot be removed without thorough application of water or other
22 (d) No person shall distribute, sell or offer for sale a multipack of
23 sugar-sweetened beverages in sealed beverage containers unless the
24 multipack of beverages bears the safety warning required by paragraph
25 (a) of this subdivision. The safety warning shall be posted in a clear
26 and conspicuous manner on the principal display panel and on at least
27 one other side of the multipack, in addition to being posted on each
28 individual sealed beverage container.
29 (e) No person shall distribute, sell or offer for sale a concentrate
30 unless the packaging of the concentrate, which is intended for retail
31 sale, bears the safety warning required by paragraph (a) of this subdi-
32 vision. The safety warning shall be posted in a clear and conspicuous
33 manner on the principal display panel of the packaging of the concen-
35 (f) This subdivision shall not be construed to require the safety
36 warning required by paragraph (a) of this subdivision to be placed imme-
37 diately preceding any common name or primary product descriptor.
38 3. (a) Every person who owns, leases or otherwise controls the prem-
39 ises where a vending machine or beverage dispensing machine is located,
40 or where a sugar-sweetened beverage is sold in an unsealed beverage
41 container, shall place or cause to be placed, a safety warning in each
42 of the following locations:
43 (1) on the exterior of any vending machine that includes a sugar-
44 sweetened beverage for sale;
45 (2) on the exterior of any beverage dispensing machine used by a
46 consumer to dispense a sugar-sweetened beverage through self-service;
48 (3) at the point-of-purchase, which may include the menu or menu
49 board, where any consumer purchases a sugar-sweetened beverage in an
50 unsealed beverage container, when the unsealed beverage container is
51 filled by an employee of a food establishment rather than the consumer;
52 provided, however, this subparagraph shall not apply unless the premises
53 where a beverage dispensing machine is located, or where the sugar-
54 sweetened beverage is sold in an unsealed beverage container is part of
55 a network of subsidiaries, affiliates or other member stores, under
A. 2320--B 4
1 direct or indirect common control, with three or more stores located in
2 New York.
3 (b) The safety warning required by paragraph (a) of this subdivision
4 shall contain the following language:
5 "SAFETY WARNING: Drinking beverages with added sugar contributes to
6 obesity, diabetes and tooth decay."
7 (c) The safety warning required by paragraph (a) of this subdivision
8 shall be displayed in a clear and conspicuous manner and readily legible
9 under ordinary conditions, separate and apart from all other informa-
10 tion, and shall be on a contrasting background. The entire safety warn-
11 ing shall appear in bold type.
12 4. (a) Whenever it shall appear that there has been a violation of
13 this section, an application may be made by the attorney general in the
14 name of the people of the state of New York to a court or justice having
15 jurisdiction by a special proceeding to issue an injunction, and upon
16 notice to the defendant of not less than five days, to enjoin and
17 restrain the continuance of such violation; and if it shall appear to
18 the satisfaction of the court or justice that the defendant has, in
19 fact, violated this article, an injunction may be issued by such court
20 or justice, enjoining and restraining any further violation, without
21 requiring proof that any person has, in fact, been injured or damaged
22 thereby. In any such proceeding, the court may make allowances to the
23 attorney general as provided in paragraph six of subdivision (a) of
24 section eighty-three hundred three of the civil practice law and rules,
25 and direct restitution. Whenever the court shall determine that a
26 violation of this article has occurred, the court may impose a civil
27 penalty of not less than fifty dollars nor more than five hundred
28 dollars for each such violation. In connection with any such proposed
29 application, the attorney general is authorized to take proof and make a
30 determination of the relevant facts and to issue subpoenas in accordance
31 with the civil practice law and rules.
32 (b) The provisions of this section may be enforced concurrently by the
33 director of a municipal consumer affairs office, or by the town attor-
34 ney, city corporation counsel, or other lawful designee of a munici-
35 pality or local government, and all moneys collected under this section
36 shall be retained by such municipality or local government.
37 5. A retailer shall not be subject to the penalties under this section
38 unless: (a) the retailer is the manufacturer of the sugar-sweetened
39 beverage, the packager of a multipack of sugar-sweetened beverages in
40 sealed beverage containers, or the manufacturer of a concentrate and
41 sells the sugar-sweetened beverage, multipack of sugar-sweetened bever-
42 ages, or concentrate under a brand it owns; or (b) the retailer's fail-
43 ure to label was knowing and willful.
44 § 3. Severability clause. If any provision of this act or its appli-
45 cation to any person, legal entity, or circumstance is held invalid, the
46 remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other
47 persons, legal entities or circumstances shall not be affected.
48 § 4. This act shall take effect one year after it shall have become a