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The Wall Street Journal reports that the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has unanimously ruled that a San Francisco law “requiring health warnings on advertising for sugary drinks violates the First Amendment, in a victory for national beverage makers whose products have come under increasing government scrutiny.”

The ruling affirmed one by a lower court that had been appealed by the city.

The Journal writes that “the court also determined the city’s warning that consumption of sugary drinks can lead to obesity and other diseases wasn’t based on established fact - citing statements by the Food and Drug Administration that sugars are ‘generally recognized as safe’ when not consumed to excess.”

City officials said that they will consider a different approach to the labeling mandate that would survive a court challenge.

The story notes that “makers of sugary drinks are facing increased regulation by local governments across the country amid concerns about obesity and diabetes rates. San Francisco, Philadelphia and Albany, N.Y. have passed soda taxes, while states including California and New York have considered ordering warning labels on cans and bottles.”
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