The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) has sent a
July 3, 2012, letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary
Kathleen Sebelius, asking the U.S. Surgeon General’s Office to issue a
report “that examines how the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages
impacts the health of Americans.” Noting that the 2012 Cancer Prevention
Guidelines stress the importance of a healthy diet and weight in reducing
“one’s lifetime risk of developing or dying from cancer,” ACS CAN has called for
an “articulate, science-based and comprehensive national plan of action” to
combat rising obesity rates.

“We know there is a direct link between excessive consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and obesity, and the adverse health effect can be profound in children as they grow into adults and throughout their lives,” states the letter. “As was the case in 1964, when the Surgeon General first revealed to the broad American public the dangers of tobacco consumption, an unbiased and comprehensive report on the impact of sugar-sweetened beverages could have a major impact on the public’s consciousness and perhaps begin to change the direction of public behavior in their choices of food and drinks.”

Meanwhile, the American Beverage Association (ABA) has reportedly countered
that soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages should be not singled
out by such policies. “We already have studies from the federal government
and independent third parties that demonstrate soft drinks are not a unique
or significant contributor to obesity,” one ABA spokesperson was quoted as
saying. See Reuters, July 3, 2012.

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For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.

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