A federal appeals court on Thursday blocked a San Francisco law imposing health warnings on advertisements for sodas and other sugary drinks. The decision is a win for the drinks and retail groups who sued to block the order.
The law violates trade speeches protected by the Constitution, said the Ninth Appellate Court of the United States in a unanimous decision. The required warnings "offend the plaintiffs' first amendment rights by cooling the protected speech," wrote the judges.
The judges granted a preliminary injunction preventing the entry into force of the order and remitted the case to a lower court.
The American Beverage Association, which represents Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and others, joined retail and advertising organizations to argue in court that rules had to be blocked .
"We are pleased with this decision, which states that there are more appropriate ways to help people manage their overall sugar consumption than through mandatory and misleading messages," said the spokesman. association of drinks in a statement.
The law passed by San Francisco in 2015 would require advertisements for beverages within the city limits to include warnings that the consumption of sugary drinks contributes to health problems. This was part of an effort to reduce the consumption of sugary drinks in order to combat obesity, diabetes, heart disease and tooth decay. California and US cities have taxed soft drinks and other soft drinks.
A panel of three judges of the court of appeal blocked the law in 2017. The panel of 11 judges said that he was going to hear the case again last year.
Judges wrote Thursday that the city "can be commended for its goal of solving serious and growing public health problems". But they agreed that beverage companies would be in great danger of irreparable harm if the law came into effect because the warnings would cover the main messages of advertising.
The San Francisco City Attorney's Office, which argued for the law in court, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Beverage Association said it hopes to work with public health groups in San Francisco to help residents make informed decisions about their diet.