Assemblymember Buffy Wicks

Buffy Wicks Takes On Big Soda’s Lock On Checkout Aisles

Sacramento, CA — Assemblymember Buffy Wicks’ (D – Oakland) bid to take on Big Soda is going in front the California Assembly Health Committee today as the “Healthy Checkout Aisles for Healthy Families Act” progresses towards passage. Assembly Bill 765 will require stores to get rid of sugary, high calorie drinks from checkout aisles in an effort to aggressively combat California’s increasing obesity and diabetes rates.

“It’s time to end Big Soda’s lock on California consumers,” said Wicks. “The state needs to put out resident’s health first. Moving junk food out of the checkout aisles is a simple but powerful step to encourage healthier snack consumption.”

If passed, instead of looking at cans of coke and other sugary beverages, consumers will find only only milk, coffee or tea (with no added caloric sweeteners), 100% natural fruit juice, and 100% vegetable juice in the checkout area. Stores that don’t comply would face $1,000 fine per day for the first violation. The fine would increase for subsequent violations. If the legislation passes and gets signed by Governor Gavin Newsom the law would go into effect July 1, 2020.

The bill is part of a package of legislation aimed at cutting soda consumption throughout the state. The sweeping legislation includes a ban on “Big Gulp”-style sodas, bans on companies offering promotional incentives for all sugar-sweetened beverages and warning labels.

The law would apply to a number of stores, including any that meet one or more of these requirements:

Measure 10,000 square feet or more

Has a pharmacy license

Generate gross annual sales of $2 million or more

Sell groceries, canned goods, some perishable items, and nonfood items

Is a convenience food store, or foodmart, selling milk, bread, soda, and snack food

AB 765 is co-authored by Assemblymembers Rob Bonta (D- Alameda) and David Chiu (D- San Francisco). It is co-sponsored by California Medical Association and California Dental Association. Joining in support is American Cancer Society, Cancer Action Network, California Society of Pediatric Dentistry, Kern County Medical Society, Monterey County Medical Society, Orange County Medical Association, Placer Nevada County Medical Society, Public Health Institute (PHI), San Francisco Marin Medical Society, Santa Clara Medical Association, Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society and Tuolumne County Medical Society.

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