Hundreds of documents reveal that the American sugar industry controlled and manipulated government research with the intent of protecting its profits, reported The Washington Post. These new findings are similar to Big Pharma’s influence over the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
“Industry meddling has long been a problem with government regulation, primarily in the realm of public health,” said Ned McWilliams, attorney with the Levin, Papantonio law firm. “This meddling has but one goal: profits over people.”
In the 1960s and 70s, an effort was undertaken to increase Americans’ knowledge of dental health by governmental groups. The plan was simple: since sugar causes tooth decay, tell the people to abstain from consuming too much sugar.
The National Institute of Dental Research (NIDR) launched the National Caries Program (NCP) in 1971 to “eradicate tooth decay by the end of the 1970s.” However, instead of telling people to consume less sugar, the sugar industry introduced alternative methods for preventing tooth decay, methods that wouldn’t hurt its profits. These methods included “wider use of fluoride and sealants in dental hygiene.”
According to Vocativ, all but one person on the government’s tooth decay task force worked for the sugar industry. This cohesion between the sugar industry and government ensured the industry’s influence over government research. Within more than 1,500 pages of documents, there was proof that the NIDR accepted close to 80 percent of the sugar industry’s alternative tooth decay prevention methods.
The government accepted, word-for-word, 40 percent of the recommendations posed by the International Sugar Research Foundation (ISRF), a research group for the sugar industry.
“These tactics are strikingly similar to what we saw in the tobacco industry in the same era,” said Stanton Glantz, researcher at the University of California in San Francisco and coauthor of the “Sugar Papers.” Glantz added that their “findings are a wake-up call for government officials . . . to understand that the sugar industry, like the tobacco industry, seeks to protect profits over public health.”
In fact, big industries being in bed with the government is an old problem. This cohesion between the government and the sugar industry is not only likened to what the tobacco industry did, as Glantz noted, but also how the pharmaceutical industry continues to abuse the FDA.