California may once again target innocuous beverages — caffeine-containing sodas and energy drinks — for labeling with the dreaded Proposition 65 warning label. According to an Associated Press article, a California advisory board is calling for a study to determine if such beverages pose a risk to pregnant women.
While very high levels of caffeine intake might indeed be problematic for some pregnant women, the current concern is based mostly on high-dose animal studies, which are certainly not directly applicable to humans. Further, the proposed study wouldn't even include the sources of most beverage caffeine — coffee and tea!
Several professional organizations — such as the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology — have approved moderate caffeine intake during pregnancy. Slapping a Proposition 65 warning label on cans of soda would do nothing to improve pregnancy outcomes — it would simply confuse consumers. This is just another example of a feel-good law that allows people to think — without a shred of evidence — that they're improving public health.
See: ACSH's report California's Proposition 65 and Its Impact on Public Health.