NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg may have been the first out of the gate in his pursuit of ambitious soda restrictions, but won’t go down in history the only audacious elected official to tackle industry executives if one Los Angeles councilman gets his way.
During a committee hearing on Monday afternoon, Councilman Bernard Parks suggested that LA may want to become the first city in the nation to pursue the regulation of energy drinks.
Parks is primarily concern about the effect of energy drinks on police officers and other first responders who use the caffeinated beverages to offset late hours and little sleep.
“If you’re in this mode of drinking this energy drink, instead of eating your breakfast, lunch and dinner, and you’re using it to stay up for long periods of time, and you’re not sleeping, you’re in danger of injuring yourself and causing health problems,” Parks said. “That’s what we’re concerned about.”
Parks’ proposal is three-fold. The first step involves launching an internal campaign aimed at educating city employees of the health-related dangers of energy drink consumption. The second step would relegate the drinks behind the counter at stores—much like cigarettes—and implement an age requirement. The third step toys with the idea that the city attorney should engage in litigation against the “most potent energy drinks.”
Mayor Garcetti told CBS Los Angeles that the measure is certainly worth a look.
“I think it’s a fair thing to look at, I want to see this more as they explore it,” Mayor Garcetti said. “But there’s certainly marketing that goes often times towards kids, whether it’s energy drinks, whether it’s cigarettes that we’ve seen.”
Opponents of the idea suggest that the regulation of highly-caffeinated drinks is better dealt with at the level of the FDA. Proponents argue that the federal government’s failure to regulate prompts local action.
Read the full article at CBS Los Angeles.