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New Archive Reveals How the Food Industry Mimics Big Tobacco to Suppress Science, Shape Public Opinion | Civil Eats

UNEARTHED ARCHIVES EXPOSE INDUSTRIAL-FOOD AS A MANIPULATOR OF SCIENCE & POLICY IN ORDER TO ENRICH ITSELF WHILE HARMING CONSUMER HEALTH. Mimicking the deadly tactics of Big Tobacco, Industrial Food has followed a devious, self-serving strategy of re-shaping science for its own benefit. It has generated a teflon-like lack of accountability for the harm their mega profitable junk food products have brought to our families and children.
"The vector [of obesity] is food and beverage companies…'' 'Civil Eats' reports. Jim

"At a 2007 conference on the links between gum disease and diabetes, dentist Cristen Kearns was shocked to hear a keynote speaker describe Lipton Brisk sweet tea as a 'healthy' drink. Knowing that the tea contained around 55 grams of sugar at the time, Kearns confronted him. “’There is no evidence linking sugar to chronic disease,’” she recalls him saying. The reply left her speechless.

"After the conference, Kearns, now a professor of dentistry and health policy at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF), began digging into research funded by the sugar industry and trade groups. Eventually, she stumbled on an archive of material, including confidential memos, that had been donated to Colorado libraries by the Great Western Sugar Company, which went out of business in the 1970s…

"Speaking at the launch event, UCSF health policy professor Laura Schmidt called skyrocketing obesity rates—which have seen a six-fold increase in some countries since 1980—the 'global warming of public health.' Trained in epidemiology, Schmidt was taught that the first step to controlling a disease is to understand the vector, the agent that transmits the disease. 'The vector [of obesity] is food and beverage companies,' she said, 'and the industry documents are helping us understand that vector'…

"The email trove also revealed how Coca-Cola was mounting a global strategy to fight soda taxes. Among the tactics, they donated $1.5 million in 2014 to a nonprofit organization called the Global Energy Balance Network to promote the notion that increased exercise is more important than what people eat or drink. In addition, the emails revealed that the industry was also tracking the research and activities of potential critics—including professor Nestle…

"'In the tobacco world, we don’t allow industry to come to the table on policy discussions,' says Kearns. This new archive may very well provide the evidence to call into question the food industry’s place at the very same table."

New Archive Reveals How the Food Industry Mimics Big Tobacco to Suppress Science, Shape Public Opinion | Civil Eats

A new trove of industry documents made public by UCSF also reveals conflicts of interest and aggressive tactics to squelch important public health information.


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