Although there is no evidence in the forty-nine other states (or, as yet, even in Washington, D. C.) that drinking soft drinks could be hazardous to consumers' heath, California, The Land of Nuts and Fruits, will require Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and other soft drink companies to label their products as "potentially fatal" and to warn consumers that the products are "not to be taken internally."
"Caffeine kills," insists State Senator Bill Monning, "and sugar can cause suicidal thoughts in mentally ill people."
Besides, Monning said, "I don't like fat people, and soda pop makes people fat."
He is especially concerned, he said, about the effects of Coke on teenagers. His own 16-year-old, Bertha, is called "Thunder Thighs" at her high school and is "constantly bullied," he said, "by Richard Simmons, Jane Fonda, and Jenny Craig."
The law becomes effective July 1, just before Independence Day.
"Ironic, isn't it?" asked Rosie O'Donnell, who opposes the law. "A law that discriminates against obese people takes effect three days before our nation's celebration of freedom for all."
Oprah Winfrey, who says she has "mixed feelings" about the law, is "stocking up" on liters of her favorite beverages. "I want to make sure I have enough Coke on hand whenever I go to L. A." Winfrey is known, in Hollywood, for the extravagant parties she hosts, where Coke is as plentiful as bottled water.
Physician Darcel Lee supports the law. "Drinking soft drinks caused my father to become a diabetic, and, as a result, he lost both his foot and his leg: soft drinks dismember people."
The sugar in soft drink thickens consumers' blood so much that their blood pressure escalates "into the red zone," nutritionist Cynthia Sass claims. "Sugar also causes liver and kidney problems and may be responsible for an outbreak of swine fever or the resurgence of polio and leprosy." There is also evidence, she said, that soft drinks converted global warming into climate change. "Clearly, a warning label is in order," she concluded.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, soft drinks are feminizing boys and men, but the beverages provide "everything nice" to girls and add "spice" to the lives of women. "With females, the caffeine content, not the sugar, is the issue."
The Bosom of Mother Nature, a naturalists' publication, argues that the sugar in soft drinks is "just as toxic as tobacco, alcohol, or snake venom."
The liquor industry hails the law as "about time," and recommends that men, women, and children switch to beer, wine, and "the hard stuff," rather than risking their health on non-alcoholic drinks. "A hangover is better than a coma," Sass agreed.