Decaying Ethics, Decaying Teeth

Sugar industry ties to US government in the 1960s and 70s influenced approaches to prevent tooth decay in American children, UC San Francisco researchers have found.

Although sugar consumption was known to lead to tooth decay, NIH concluded in 1969 that focusing on reducing sucrose consumption as a public health measure was impractical and worked with the sugar industry to find alternate approaches, according to a cache of correspondence and reports analyzed by the researchers.

The sugar industry’s tactics smell a lot like the tobacco industry’s influence at the same time, according to the research published yesterday in PLOS Medicine.

“Our findings are a wake-up call for government officials charged with protecting the public health, as well as public health advocates, to understand that the sugar industry, like the tobacco industry, seeks to protect profits over public health,” said Stanton A. Glantz, PhD, a study co-author who also discovered tobacco industry papers in the 1990s that led to massive settlements between the industry and every US state.

University of San Francisco News

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