Berkeley bans grocery merchants from putting sweet at checkout aisles, calls for wholesome snacks in its place

The Berkeley Metropolis Council has passed an ordinance that bars grocery outlets from promoting candy and soda at checkout strains and as an alternative encourages the sale of healthier treats such as fruit, nuts and drinks with no added sugars.

The ordinance, handed unanimously Tuesday night, applies to suppliers with merchants better than 2,500 sq. ft and will effects chains that run in Berkeley these kinds of as Safeway and Trader Joe’s. Proponents of the ordinance point out that the rule will motivate more healthy meals use selections.

“The healthful checkout ordinance is critical for neighborhood well being, particularly in the time of COVID-19,” stated Berkeley Town Council member Kate Harrison, just one of the ordinance’s co-authors. “What is fantastic for Berkeley prospects is also fantastic for our businesses.”

The initiative was backed by the Centre for Science in the Public Fascination, a countrywide buyer advocacy group.

“Many dad and mom of color in Berkeley are nervous simply because they are observing a rise in diabetes in the neighborhood and they worry for their children’s life,” Monique Blodgett, a Berkeley mother and neighborhood activist explained in a CSPI launch touting the ordinance’s passage. “I believe that wholesome checkout lanes would make a massive big difference for Berkeley households and support people today get more confidence searching. It would also exhibit that their community cares about them and their overall health.”

Beneath the ordinance, only foods objects with no additional than five grams of added sugars or 250 milligrams of sodium per serving will be permitted at checkout aisles. This will get rid of the usual assortment of candies, chips, sodas and gum customers normally see though spending.

The new ordinance goes into result March 1, 2021, but enforcement will not start off till Jan. 1, 2022.

Eric Ting is an SFGATE reporter. E-mail: [email protected] | Twitter:@_ericting