The sugar industry in the US is threatening to bring the World Health Organisation to its knees by demanding that Congress end its funding unless the WHO scraps guidelines on healthy eating, due to be published on Wednesday.
The threat is being described by WHO insiders as tantamount to blackmail and worse than any pressure exerted by the tobacco lobby.
In a letter to Gro Harlem Brundtland, the WHO’s director general, the Sugar Association says it will ‘exercise every avenue available to expose the dubious nature’ of the WHO’s report on diet and nutrition, including challenging its $406m (£260m) funding from the US.
The industry is furious at the guidelines, which say that sugar should account for no more than 10% of a healthy diet. It claims that the review by international experts which decided on the 10% limit is scientifically flawed, insisting that other evidence indicates that a quarter of our food and drink intake can safely consist of sugar.
Does anyone in their right mind think that a food intake consisting of 25% sugar makes any sense whatsoever?
Food over here, BTW, has been really good compared to Ireland. We have a branch of Trader Joe’s just down the road, which has supplied us with stacks of fantastic organic and/or healthy eats, for far cheaper than what the local supermarket charges for the usual pasteurised, added-sugar, added-salt crap.
This is just as well, because that supermarket has some really nasty stuff; even the bread is sweet due to added sugar! yuck. (In passing, pet food peeve: pasteurised orange juice. Pasteurisation of fruit juice kills the flavour and texture, and is thoroughly pointless; with that much acid and sugar, there’s no way any nasty bacteria can survive, assuming the juice is citrus and is fresh enough. But maybe that’s the point; saleable while less fresh == longer shelflife == profit.)