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Calif. city passes anti-soft-drink law

Quick-service restaurants in Davis, Calif., could be slapped with a $500 fine starting Sept. 1 for each time they fail to offer milk or water to a customer before processing a soft-drink order.

The new law, passed unanimously last week by the five-person City Council, is believed to be the first of its kind in the nation.

The measure was a pet project of an advocacy group called First 5 Yolo, which says its mission is to promote the health of children 5 years of age and under in Yolo County, Calif.  The measure is viewed as a way of prompting healthier choices by children and their families.

According to local media reports, First 5 Yolo carefully chose Davis as the first test of the measure because it had the ears of city leaders and found little opposition from the local restaurant industry. Davis is home to about 18 QSRs.

It was not evident if First 5 plans to lobby for the measure elsewhere in the county.

Davis, the home of a major University of California campus, has a population of about 70,000.

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