June 7, 2016
Statement from the Maryland Retailers Association, Restaurant Association of Maryland, and the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Beverage Association On Proposed “Warning Label” Legislation in Baltimore City
“At a time when Baltimore City is struggling to retain grocery stores and supermarkets this new mandate, which exists nowhere else in the nation, will have a chilling effect on attracting new merchants to the city,” said Cailey Locklair Tolle, president of the Maryland Retailers Association. “It is shortsighted and takes the city in the wrong direction.”
“We are concerned that this proposed legislation goes too far and will not only deter the formation of new businesses, such as restaurants, but send a negative message that will discourage people from eating, shopping and enjoying Baltimore City,” said Melvin Thompson, the Restaurant Association of Maryland’s senior vice president of government affairs and public policy.
“Forcing restaurants, grocery stores, convenience stores and vending machines to carry misleading and inaccurate warning signs about common beverages such as lemonades, sweet teas, fruit juices, fruit drinks, sports drinks and soft drinks misses an opportunity to teach and lead with a right message – lifestyle choices matter; new government bans, restrictions or for that matter “warning labels” for lemonade don’t,” said Ellen Valentino, executive vice president, Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Beverage Association. “The beverage industry has developed a number of real solutions that are having an impact and we are making sure there are dozens of options for everyone. Maryland beverage makers recognize that all calories count and are committed to helping consumers be more mindful of the beverage choices they make.”
The facts are clear:
- Calories in the America diet from added sugars in soda are down 39 percent since 2000.
- Regular soda sales dropped 12.5 percent between 1999 and 2012.
- Sales of soda have fallen for 11 consecutive years.
- Total soft drink calories in schools fell more than 90 percent from 2004 to 2010.
- The obesity rate in the U.S. climbed to 37.7 percent in 2013-2014 from 30.5 percent in 1999-2000, according to the Center for Disease Control.
For More Information:
Cailey Locklair Tolle
Maryland Retailers Association
Restaurant Association of Maryland
Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Beverage Association