California Senate Bill – SB1192 – makes the default choices for children’s drinks at meals just water, flavored water, and milk. If parents want them to have anything else, they have to ask for it. The purpose of the bill is to reduce obesity in children.
SB1192 reads in part:
Existing law, the California Retail Food Code, establishes uniform health and sanitation standards for, and provides for regulation by the State Department of Public Health of, retail food facilities, as defined, and requires local enforcement agencies to enforce these provisions. Under existing law, a person who violates any provision of the code is guilty of a misdemeanor with each offense punishable by a fine of not less than $25 or more than $1,000, or by imprisonment in a county jail for a term not exceeding 6 months, or by both that fine and imprisonment.
This bill would require a restaurant, as defined, that sells a children’s meal that includes a beverage, to make the default beverage water, sparkling water, or flavored water, as specified, or unflavored milk or a nondairy milk alternative, as specified. The bill would not prohibit a restaurant’s ability to sell, or a customer’s ability to purchase, an alternative beverage if the purchaser requests one. The bill would make a violation of its provisions an infraction, but would make the first violation subject to a notice of violation. Under the bill, the 2nd and 3rd violations would be punishable by fines of not more than $250 and $500, respectively. By imposing additional duties on local enforcement agencies and by creating a new crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
In California, it appears that everything is “state-mandated.” Water, guns, now even children’s drinks. And they’ve made everything a crime that requires law enforcement action.
“Seriously, like, what’s next? Are we going to insist that you have to have kale in your salad unless you specifically ask otherwise?” Assemblyman Matthew Harper, R-Huntington Beach
The bill passed the State Assembly, and was sent back to the Senate for a final vote. It was overwhelmingly approved in the Senate back in May. Then it will head to the Governor’s desk for signing, according to the Sacramento Bee
We all realize the children should not be obese. But is mandating restaurants to comply, and police to enforce the answer? As Assemblyman Harper asks, where does it end?