Sugar Industry’s Tobacco Tactics at NIDR Revealed
March 10, 2015 – The sugar industry influenced U.S. caries eradication research during the 1960s and 1970s, according to a new study in PLOS Medicine. By working closely with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a sugar industry trade organization helped to shift the focus of federal research at the time from limiting sugar intake to finding alternative caries prevention strategies.
Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco uncovered a public collection of sugar industry papers at the University of Illinois. The documents, which contained more than 1,500 pages of correspondence between sugar industry executives, meeting minutes, and other relevant reports, revealed a connection between the sugar trade industry and the government.
“The sugar industry could not deny the role of sucrose in dental caries given the scientific evidence,” wrote the authors, noting that the industry had accepted that sugar caused caries as early as 1950. “They, therefore, adopted a strategy to deflect attention to public health interventions that would reduce the harms of sugar consumptions rather than restricting intake.”
The new discovery is all too reminiscent of the tobacco industry’s influence on research during the same time period. In fact, Stanton Glantz, PhD, who in 1990 discovered the tobacco industry papers that led to massive settlements between the industry and every U.S. state, was a co-author on this sugar industry paper.
“These tactics are strikingly similar to what we saw in the tobacco industry in the same era,” Glantz stated in a press release. “Our findings are a wake-up call for government officials charged with protecting the public health, as well as public health advocates, to understand that the sugar industry, like the tobacco industry, seeks to protect profits over public health.”
Here’s more from our muckraking associate in Sweden, Dr. Ulf Bengtsson;
More sugar fuel.
I have followed the sugar industry/dental organizations for decades. Without much interest from media unfortunately. Perhaps now is the time.
Let me illustrate some of my findings about the sugar industry – dental connections.
1/ ORCA is the leading caries research organization based in Europe, http://www.orca-caries-research.org/
Their scientific journal is Caries Research, http://www.orca-caries-research.org/publications/caries_research.html Like many other journals they have strict rules for conflict of interest, http://www.karger.com/Journal/Guidelines/224219
The owner of the journal has however a number of corporations as members including Sugar Nutrition UK, Wrigley Inc owned by Mars Inc, one of the worlds largest candy manufacturers and Cloetta, a major candy manufacturer on the European market, http://www.orca-caries-research.org/membership/corporate.html
Clicking the categories (Platinum, Gold etc) will reveal annual membership fees ranging from approx.. 210000 USD to 3700 USD. As you can see this money is also buying you one vote.
Up until 2011 Coca Cola was also a member, https://web.archive.org/web/20110217165147/ http://www.orca-caries-research.org/membership/corporate.html
2/ As you know International Association for Dental Research, IADR, organizes the worlds dental researchers. Wrigley Inc. is a contributor to IADR http://www.iadr.org/files/AnnualReports/14IADR.pdf
The IADR Headquarters is in part financed by M&M Mars, http://www.iadr.com/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3748#.VQPdaGw5DIU
In 2012 the IADR Pan European Region held a conference where we find Fazer Oy as one of the sponsors. Fazer is a major candy manufacturer on the European market, http://www.iadr.com/files/public/12PERSponsors.pdf
3/ MARS Inc. has worked at the FDI World Dental Federation Headquarters preparing advocacy tool kits for national dental associations, NDA’s. http://archive.fdiworldental.org/html/WDC/5-2010/english/story5-utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=5.2010.htm
4/ Coca Cola gave 1 million USD to American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry back in 2003, http://philanthropynewsdigest.org/news/coca-cola-foundation-grant-to-american-academy-of-pediatric-dentistry-draws-criticism
The sugar industry is buying influence in major dental organizations – and these let them happily do that.