Lobbying by food industry means Canada food labels won’t list ‘added sugar’ – Dec. 16, 2016 CBC article
A Dec. 16, 2016 CBC article is entitled: “Sugar’s on the food label, but you’ll have to guess how much has been ‘added’: Lobbying by food industry means Canada food labels won’t list ‘added sugar'”.
A Dec. 16, 2016 ‘Second Opinion’ newsletter by Kelly Crowe and Darryl Hol from CBC Health notes:
How many ways can you say ‘sugar’?
Did you know there are 152 ways to say “sugar” on a food label? That includes mysterious ingredients like potato syrup solids, agave and isomaltulose — all code names for sugar in processed food.
Under new food label rules announced this week, Health Canada is demanding that all sweetening ingredients be grouped together under the heading “sugar.” It’s part of a series of label changes intended to prompt healthier food choices and save an estimated $275 million dollars a year in the economic cost of disease. But there’s no apparent urgency, even with so many health benefits at stake. Health Canada has delayed the label change until the year 2021, to give the food industry time to use up the old labels and save money.
And Big Food won another victory in the great Canadian food label fight. They won’t have to disclose how much extra sugar they’re adding to processed food, even though consumers, health professionals and even the provinces and territories all wanted a separate category on the label for “added sugar.”
The food industry argued against it. And they won.
World Health Organization recommends no more than 25 grams of sugar a day
Click here for previous posts about sugar >
I’ve made it a point (and increasingly, have been succeeding) to make a real effort to keep sugar under 25 grams per day, in line with the World Health Organization recommendation that I posted on March 16, 2014:
World Health Organization recommends that no more than 5 percent of your caloric intake – that is, 25 grams – should come from sugar
The role of lobbying in keeping sugar intake at a high level brings to mind a previous post:
Backstories related to public relations in the United States and China
In particular, the following passage resonates, at least for me, based on my years of experience with public relations, and media relations, in my volunteer work:
Backstories related to The Government Next Door (2015)
Backstory No. 1: Public relations
A backstory related to Tomba’s research is provided by Evan Osnos at an interview entitled: A ‘New Yorker’ Writer’s Take On China’s ‘Age Of Ambition’
An excerpt reads:
“And what they said was, we need to become much more sophisticated about how we conduct what’s known as Chinese as thought work. And so they began to study the masters, really. They began to study the United States and the origins of public relations culture. So they went back and they actually – if you look in the textbooks for Chinese propaganda officials today, some of the things that they cite are the success of Coca-Cola. They say, if you can sell sugar water in effect to people, well, then we can sell anything at all.
“They also looked very admiringly at the way that the Bush administration dealt with the press in the run-up to the war in Iraq. They think this is an example of a successful relationship with the press. They also look at the way that Tony Blair’s government in Britain handled the media around the issue of mad cow disease. And so there’s been this real effort to study what’s been done in the West and to take from it the best attributes – or at least the most efficient and effective attributes of the free-market public relations industry.”
[End of excerpt]
Backstory No. 2: Soft drinks
A Jan. 6, 2015 CBC article, is entitled: “Taxing sugary drinks could help cut consumption, researchers say.”
A Jan. 17, 2016 Guardian article is entitled: “Sweet nightmares: a guide to cutting down on sugar: Sugar is making us fatter and sicker. Yet we still don’t realise how much we’re eating. As the government considers imposing a tax, we look at how to cut down without missing out. Plus: alternative recipes.”
A March 5, 2016 CBC article is entitled; A Canada’s Food Guide should seek inspiration from Brazil: researcher: New Senate obesity report suggests introducing a sugar tax in Canada.”
An Oct. 13, 2016 undark.org article is entitled: “In the Fight Against Obesity, the Real Enemy Is Oversimplification: Fat used to be Dietary Enemy No. 1. Today, it’s sugar. But reductions in the consumption of both have done little to curb obesity rates. Why?”
A Dec. 26, 2017 Guardian article is entitled: “Protein hype: shoppers flushing money down the toilet, say experts: Consumers fuelling demand for high-protein products unlikely to see any benefits as people already eat more protein than they need, say dietitians.”
A January/February 2017 Atlantic article is entitled: “The Sugar Wars: Science can’t prove it and the industry denies it, but Gary Taubes is convinced that the sweet stuff kills.”
A Jan. 12, 2017 CBC article is entitled: Added sugar often found in Canadian products marketed as ‘healthy,’ researchers find: Why ‘you really need to be a detective’ when reading food labels.”
A Jan. 16, 2017) CBC The Current podcast, entitled “Is sugar killing us? Author Gary Taubes makes his case,” provides a great overview of the distinction between evidence (that is, the facts of the matter, in this case related to the science related to nutrition) and the frame within which scientific facts are positioned.
A Feb. 10, 2017 CBC article is entitled: “Sugary drink consumption by youth far exceeds recommended limit, researchers say: Researchers project health effects including diabetes, heart disease and cancer.”
A March 17, 2017 CBC article is entitled: “Amazon men in their 80s have the arteries of Americans in their 50s: Lancet study shows diet low on processed carbs, sugar, while active living boost heart health.”
A March 17, 2017 Guardian article is entitled: “Tsimané of the Bolivian Amazon have world’s healthiest hearts, says study: Heart attacks and strokes are almost unknown amongst the Tsimané thanks to a high carbohydrate, low protein diet and active lifestyle, say researchers.”
A March 18, 2017 BBC article is entitled: “‘Healthiest hearts in the world’ found.”
A BBC article, accessed June 22, 2017, article is entitled: “How much sugar is in your snack?”
A Jan. 26, 2017 Atlantic article is entitled: “The Startling Link Between Sugar and Alzheimer’s: A high-carb diet, and the attendant high blood sugar, are associated with cognitive decline.
A Nov. 12, 2021 CBC article is entitled: “Which coffee chain drink has as much sugar as 2 cups of ice cream? Marketplace compares sugar in Starbucks, McCafe and Tim Hortons beverages.”
An excerpt reads:
You probably wouldn’t eat a chocolate bar on your way to work, but depending on your morning beverage of choice, you could be getting a similar amount of sugar in your favourite coffee shop drink.
To learn more about how much of the sweet stuff Canadians are sipping on, Marketplace reviewed online nutrition information for some popular drinks available at coffee shop chains across the country and found some contain a surprising amount of sugar.
“I think people are addicted to sweet, and it’s leading to a health-care crisis,” said hepatologist and gastroenterologist Dr. Supriya Joshi, who believes most people have no idea how much sugar is really in their daily dose of caffeine.