The politics of sugar.

From its beginnings, the sugar industry has always been political. The production of sugar initially was only possible because of its heavy reliance on the slave trade and the aggressive colonisation of warmer countries. The use of indentured labour, which is about as close to slavery as you can get without it actually being slavery, was common and huge numbers of people were shipped around the world to service the labour intensive industry. The sugar industry tried to demonstrate that it had a social conscience by funding things that would be seen as good for people (in this country, not the slave labour) such as art galleries.

Fast forward to the last century and we can see how the sugar industry used its money to fund the scientific research community. The same research community that silenced John Yudkin when he tried to publicise the link he found between sugar consumption and heart disease.

This morning, I watched a report on tooth decay in children and how it is almost out of control in the UK where total extractions of all baby teeth due to decay are now common. I find that shocking and more so because everyone knows it is simply caused by sugar and can be prevented by reducing sugar consumption but we still don’t help our children to save their teeth.

Then today I read in the paper that the UK government has delayed Public Health England’s report on sugar consumption and health.
Strange that… I wonder why it’s a good idea to delay a report that may help people lead healthier lives, maybe lose weight, maybe not get heart disease. It must be something really important that would delay such an vital report?

One lump or two?


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