Essentially the industry has gotten a pass on sugar for decades. It is only now with so many researchers in the field that these questions are been retested and those bad results replicated.
In fact a whole string of rackets have been run in the food industry often to dislodge safe well established competitors. Not least is the butter margarine bait and switch. for the past half century.
The science is catching up to all this and unfortunately it is never linked to an aggressive public relations campaign. Thus the actual push back will be slow. However the increasing power of organic foods will soon reach a tipping point and turn into an avalanche of change.
by Lori Ennis on November 22, 2017
New information from an old study is coming out, and it’s exactly what the sugar industry doesn’t want you to know about.
We share information from new studies all the time, so it’s unusual when an old study sheds ‘new’ light on things. Yet, that’s exactly what is happening now with a study from the 1960s that was sponsored by the sugar industry.
The study was never published, and would apparently seem to have disappeared until its resurrection recently. The study suggested a link between a high-sugar diet and cancer and high cholesterol levels, which is not necessarily new news, but shows that the sugar-industry was aware of issues as long as four decades ago.
Stanton Glantz is a professor of medicine at the University of California, and the co-author of a new paper that was published in the PLOS Biology journal recently. He says that the study was canceled, and nothing was ever published on any findings, and it’s not known whether the primary researcher did try to publish and was blocked, or didn’t even bother trying to publish the results at all, as they would not shine the best light on the sugar industry.
According to the paper’s authors, a group then-called the Sugar Research Foundation might have spun the research data in its favor, as a separate historical analysis of sugar industry-related studies and papers suggest that the Sugar Research Foundation was the sponsor of a program that actually showed that high-sugar diets were not necessarily bad for people, but fat was a dietary culprit instead.
Glantz says this is the kind of manipulation in science that the tobacco industry took part in when it came to manipulation of data that showed inaccurate results about the dangers of tobacco.
The association is now called the Sugar Association and has contested the new PLOS paper, saying that it isn’t actually research but perspective and assumptions about things that happened nearly fifty years ago. Essentially the Association says that the authors of the paper are known critics of the sugar industry, and their opinion is skewed.
Glantz disagrees, however, saying that while the Sugar Association says it was not published because the research was delayed and the budget went over, he doubts that would have been the case if the study had actually shown that sugar didn’t have the detrimental effect the Association knows it did.
Dentist Cristin Kearns was the lead author of the paper and said she learned about the lost study when she was looking at letters between Sugar Research Foundation executives and scientists from 1959-1971. According to Kearns, she was curious as to why the study wasn’t listed in a book of all their research projects, and she was curious about ‘Project 259.’
The preliminary results of Project 259 showed that rats fed high-sugar diets had higher levels of beta-glucuronidase than basic high-starch diets. Beta-glucuronidase has been shown to be linked to increasing risk of bladder cancer. Interestingly, in 1958, Congress passed the Delaney clause, which was to prohibit any food additives that have been shown to induce cancer in humans or animals.
Glantz said that the FDA should have kept any carcinogens out of foods, even if they were only shown to be carcinogenic to animals.
Additionally, the study showed that rats who were given high-sugar diets had elevated triglycerides in their blood, but according to Kearns, only when the rats were stripped of bacteria in their guts, or their microbiomes. Kearns said that that information even then was fascinating due to its relevance about the role of the microbiome that far back.
And while the study only suggests these findings for rats, and not humans, Kearns says that knowing this information would change the way future studies were organized and what they searched for.
That all said, The Sugar Association says the authors of the perspective paper did not even reach out to The Sugar Association, and that there were other reasons the findings were never published, such as budget and time constraints.
Kearns says that’s interesting, as other overlapping studies were continued, but for whatever reason, that one that shed a poor light on sugar was stopped.
Dr. Sanjay Basu is an assistant professor of Medicine at Stanford University and he says that because sugar was not considered a concerning substance years ago, many dietary changes were made (with regard to reducing fats, but not limiting sugars) that actually correspond now to a rise in type 2 diabetes and obesity.
Had this study not been suppressed, who knows what dietary cautions may have been employed, and subsequently, health benefits gained?