Tooth Decay: Sugar Industry ‘Behaved Like Tobacco Manufacturers’

Tooth Decay: Sugar Industry ‘Behaved Like Tobacco Manufacturers’

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(Medical News Today) – When the science first established that sugar was the damaging component in tooth decay – and when the sugar industry saw there was this unquestionable harm – its trade organizations ignored dentists’ calls for restricting intake, and instead deflected the debate elsewhere, influencing public health research in food producers’ favor. Those are the allegations of researchers who have trawled a previously unexplored source of industry documents from the 60s.

The authors say their findings are a “historical example” of the industry’s self-interest “that can inform policy makers today” over opposition to current sugar policy proposals.

Having noted that, in the case of the tobacco industry, reviews of historical internal documents were “key to informing policy and litigation successes in tobacco control,” the authors set to work on an archive of 319 internal sugar industry documents created mostly in the 1960s.

Known as the Roger Adams papers, the archive “relates” to the World Sugar Research Organisation (WSRO), a trade body that, then and now, represents the cane and beet sugar industry.

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