How Big Sugar Influences Nutrition Science: A First Glimpse at Sugar Industry Documents

How Big Sugar Influences Nutrition Science: A First Glimpse at Sugar Industry Documents


thank you thanks everyone and thanks to
Greg and the CrossFit team for inviting me and being so interested in my work
really pleased to be here see if I can make this work so yes I want to give you
a little bit of my personal backstory to begin with and I was working at Kaiser
as Zoe mentioned although I was on the administrative side so I was actually
managing dental clinics for Kaiser and we were really interested in medical
dental integration type 2 diabetic patients show up in the dental office
and there is the opportunity for dentists to maybe
measure blood glucose and partner with Kaiser physicians and managing type 2
diabetic patients so I went to a dental conference looking at the links between
gum disease and diabetes back in 2007 and I was given this brochure working
together to manage diabetes and this was designed for dentists in particular and
I noticed that the diet advice this is what it said to manage type-2 diabetes
you should increase fiber limit saturated fats and salt and that’s what
would help control blood glucose blood pressure and cholesterol what’s missing
what’s missing from that statement nothing about sugar
there’s nothing about reducing sugar so that was a little unusual and this was
put out by the CDC our national diabetes education program there was a second
keynote speaker at this conference and he handed out this guy to his stop and
go fast food guide to nutrition and one of the the drinks that he gave a green
light to was Lipton brisk sweet tea which has something like 56 grams of
sugar this this was him Stephen L Danna I
actually chased him down he was trying to leave and get out to catch his flight
and said you know how can you possibly give this drink a green light and his
answer was there is no evidence linking sugar to chronic disease and I was
literally speechless because we were at a dental conference you know tooth decay
is the number one chronic disease and children you can’t deny the link between
sugar and tooth decay I really had no words and he just turned around and
walked out the door so I that’s not what I expected to learn at this dental
conference and so at the time I had also been reading books by Gary Tao so we’ve
heard a lot about here today I was wearing as well as marion nestle her
book food politics and if you don’t know Marion she has an amazing blog called
food politics and has written something like 15 books on the topic but in her
book she was talking about how the sugar industry had worked to lobby the US
dietary guidelines so I got really curious about the sugar industry and I
wanted to know more so I’d come home after work and just start looking at
online who is who was the sugar industry and what are they up to and this is a
screenshot from the website of the sugar Association from back in 2007 so here
they’re boasting that sugar had been subject to scientific scrutiny over a
thousand studies had dispelled the links between sugar diabetes hypertension
behavior problems and obesity and then here they’re listing these government
reports the FDA National Academy of Sciences that supposedly also had
exonerated sugar from being linked to chronic disease and this is how I found
what is going on with these reports I just again I just couldn’t believe what
I was reading I was almost thinking did I learn something wrong in dental school
you know about links between sugar and disease I started really questioning
things so I got rid of cable TV and decided I’m going to just do this after
work and I’m gonna start really digging into the sugar industry and figure out
what’s going on after a year I quit my job and started doing it full-time at
this point I’d moved back to Colorado and I was picking up some books at our
local Denver Public Library and I typed sugar into the library catalog and
records to the Great Western sugar company popped up so this is a sugar
company sugar beet company that based in Denver Colorado they went out of
business in the 1970s and decided to donate company records to local
libraries in Colorado apparently lawyers did screen through
these documents but a few boxes on nutrition and nutrition policies slipped
through and I just happened to be the first one to go out and take a look so
the very first folder that I opened had this exact document with the sugar
associations letterhead across the top confidential so I knew that I was onto
something good this is how I felt after I found those documents so what I had
stumbled upon the collection at Colorado State University was a collection of
photographs actually and they kept some of the textual documents to give context
to the photographs and so this was the photograph that was key this is a
picture of JW Tatum there on the right the president of the sugar Association
accepting the silver anvil award which is given by the public relations Society
of America it’s like winning an Oscar if you’re in the public relations world and
they won this award in 1976 and so I had all the documents kind of supporting
what went on with this publicly relations campaign but I didn’t know how
I was gonna get the story out because I was a dentist I wasn’t a journalist he
wasn’t trained and researched you know I didn’t know how I was gonna write about
this so I actually kind of chased down Gary Taubes I sent him an email and he
didn’t write me back and then I was a little depressed because I thought maybe
I really wasn’t onto something that good and then he was on a book tour in Denver
for why we get fat and I went up to him after his talk and we got to talking and
ended up writing an article together so we had an article that came out in
Mother Jones in 2012 and it was telling the story of this 1976 public relations
campaign about that silver anvil award so this on the left this is a report
from the sugar associations Board of Directors I had their financial
statements all the research projects that they’d funded all their memos going
back and forth between the sugar Association and executives of the shared
companies and Zoe was mentioning earlier the 1977 McGovern report what this one
was about was a 1976 Food and Drug Administration report
so while McGovern and his Senate committee were looking at dietary goals
the Food and Drug Administration was actually undergoing a massive review of
their list of foods that were considered safe and sucrose was being reviewed it
had been deemed safe in 1958 without much of a scientific review 1976 was the
first time the FDA was really looking at the evidence to say whether or not sugar
was safe so the industry knew that dietary goals report was going on but
they were more worried about this FDA report so this article sort of tells the
story of everything that they did to influence that report here’s a quote
from this Board of Directors meeting saying the fact that no confirmed
scientific evidence links sugar to the death-dealing diseases is the lifeblood
of the sugar Association just to give you a sense for their motivation and the
impact of that public relations campaign 1976 this is the the FDA report that
came out the sugar industry was boasting that this FDA report was highly
supportive making it unlikely that sugar would be subject to legislative
restriction in the coming years so this actually was a really crucial report
they did acknowledge a link between sugar and tooth decay but everything
else obesity diabetes heart disease were all dismissed in this report so I’d
written this article now what I knew about UCSF and UCSF is a place where
they has the tobacco industry documents so all the public documents that came
out through discovery through the tobacco litigation going back to the 60s
and 70s all those documents are online at UCSF and searchable and there’s a
research program that’s developed around that and this man on the Left Stan
glance I don’t know if any of you know him here but he’s really been a pioneer
in studying that tobacco companies and he received at the first boxes of
tobacco industry documents back in the 90s and he and his colleagues wrote this
book the cigarette papers kind of explaining what was in these documents
so I really wanted to go to UCSF so I used that Mother Jones article to reach
out to Stan and say hey you guys interested in what I’m doing and it
turns out they had read the article kind of the same day and Stan was getting
ready to email me and he invited me to come give a talk and that led to a
fellowship at UCSF so when I showed up at UCSF I had four different collections
of sugar company documents so that one at Colorado State big one at University
of Florida another one at your University of Illinois and then another
one at Harvard and Gary actually helped fund me I was driving around the country
going to these libraries and photocopying all of these documents and
then just to give you a sense for how many collections we have now that are in
the UCSF library we’ve identified quite a few more and even some in Vancouver
NBC as well so I focused mainly on the sucrose industry and this map gives you
a sense for the sweetener industry in the US so the yellow is is corn the corn
industry is important as well the red is sugar cane and the green is sugar beets
and the little dots are various places where we refine sugar across the country
and I think the sucrose industry is important because historically sucrose
has been the major global sweetener and they’ve been around the longest and
they’ve been in this game the longest so much of what I’ve done has focused on
this particular industry and in particular on this trade trade
association the sugar Association so they’re based in Washington DC they’re a
501 C 6 company their mission is to promote sugar consumption and they do
this through scientific programs public Asians education and public policy and
the sugar Association really dates back to at least the 40s and really it goes
before that as well 1943 was the year that the cane sugar
and the beet sugar industry started working together before that they were
competitors so in 1943 they started working together and they were first
known as the sugar Research Foundation and they’ve evolved in all kinds of
different ways they were international to begin with but they really went
international in the 1960s and now there’s the world sugar research
organization that’s based in London and the US version the sugar Association and
these are all the world’s sugar research organization members all over the world
so all the countries that have any kind of a cane sugar or beet sugar business
all have a membership in this world sugar research organization and Coca
Cola has been a member on and off as has the International Life Sciences
Institute and this is just a screenshot of our food industry documents archive
as it is now at UCSF you can just google industry documents library so we’ve got
our tobacco collection we actually also have a drug pharmaceutical collection we
have a chemical collection which carries documents are in many of the ones that
she talked about her there and then now our food food library which we launched
in November 2018 so I’m gonna just give you some of our highlights some of our
papers some of our key findings but actually one thing I want to point out
is now with all these different libraries online they’re also cross
searchable so you could type in sugar and something from the tobacco industry
might pop up and this is an example of that so this is from the tobacco
industry documents library this is Robert Hawkins the sugar research
foundations first scientific director he worked for them between 1943 and about
1950 to the date of this letter is 1954 this is the year that the tobacco
company started to get very nervous about the links between smoking and
cancer and they hired Hill & Knowlton a public relations firm to help them
be part of the solution and they made this big announcement and use papers all
over the country in 1954 that they were going to form this thing called the
tobacco industry Research Committee that was going to help you know improve
health you know but really we know that they were casting doubt on the links
between smoking and cancer so this letter robert Hockett wrote to the
tobacco industry research committee and he told them that ten years ago a very
similar organization the sugar Research Foundation was formed to investigate
charges that refined sugar as a primary cause of diabetes tooth decay polio B
vitamin deficiencies and obesity and then he had organized and directed
research projects in medical schools hospitals universities and colleges
which had exonerated sugar of most of the charges that had been laid against
it and then he went on to say that the problems of the cigarette industry are
so similar to the problems of the sugar industry that I believe that I could do
good work for you and indeed they hired him and he became their assistant
scientific director so it could be that the sugar industry was in this game even
before the tobacco industry so a couple of our papers here so this was the first
paper that I wrote with my colleague Stan glance and Laura Schmidt when I was
a fellow and since I’m a dentist when I had been working on the mother Jones
article I kept seeing all these references to tooth decay which you
might hear me say dental caries that’s another word for tooth decay and so you
know I wanted to understand what was the sugar industry up to mean clearly we
know the links between sugar and tooth decay but what what had the sugar
industry been doing in this realm and so this is from one of their annual reports
in 1950 so they actually had a tooth decay Research Program and they said the
ultimate aim of their foundation was to discover effective means of controlling
tooth decay by methods other than restricting carbohydrate intake so that
was pretty clear what they were up to I looked a little more closely at some of
their studies from 1967 to 1970 and here they were actually also collaborating
with the chocolate and confectionery industry
so the money that I saw the sugar industry putting into these studies it’s
actually only four percent of the overall budget so the sugar industry’s
contribution was eighty five thousand dollars but then there’s the chocolate
industry in the candy industry working together and some examples of the
research so Dexter Nate’s enzymes the idea was to create these dexter nice
enzymes that would break up the plaque on your teeth so maybe we could add them
to toothpaste or maybe we could add them to foods so that you can eat as much
sugar as you want if you didn’t have the pack on your teeth you wouldn’t get
tooth decay the other one was a dental caries vaccine maybe we can vaccinate
for tooth decay and they dumped a lot of money into this in fact people are still
trying to come up with a vaccine this is never gonna happen because it’s not just
one bacteria that causes tooth decay it’s a whole multitude anyway so this is
an example of the type of research that they were trying to promote and then we
also found that this time period is actually really really critical for
research related to tooth decay so our National Institutes of Health has
a dental Institute and in the 1970s they announced this program called the
national caries program and this is a clip from the New York Times writing
about this program and the announcement was we’re gonna halt tooth decay you
know within a decade and actually how often do you hear that were going to end
obesity within a generation we’re gonna end this in a decade so here they’re
saying going to n tooth decay within a decade and so I had actually found that
the sugar and just use quite interested in this program and cultivated
relationships with NIH leaders pulled together you know their own research to
inform the research priorities and in fact sent them a report so the left-hand
side is the sugar industry report on what they thought the research priority
should be and on the right or this is the document that the NIH put out and
their final research priorities and I compared the two so 78% of the sugar
industry report ended up being incorporated into our research
priorities for tooth decay in the 1970s and much of it was verbatim so here’s a
quote on the left side but since it’s not practicable to replace sucrose and
can anything be added to mitigate its carriage Anisa tea that just means make
it less cavity-causing phosphates are a possible answer if it’s not practicable
to replace sucrose in our diet can anything be added to the diet to
mitigate its carriage Anisa tea phosphates are a possible answer so I
was just blown away by this that the sugar industry’s report would be
incorporated into our dental caries research priorities this is our federal
funding agency influencing what people are researching in this field and all
the non dietary intervention research was really de-emphasized and this is
actually a really critical time period because that FDA report that I mentioned
where it did acknowledge a link between sugar and tooth decay that could have
informed advertising restrictions so in the 70s the Federal Trade Commission
they were actually really looking at trying to limit advertising of sugary
breakfast cereals to kids but the main health reason was tooth decay but they
needed some sort of an objective way to determine what breakfast cereal causes
cavities and what which doesn’t which cereal is safe and how do you tell and
that’s the research that the NIH could have done but that’s the research that
got de-emphasize by this national caries program so I got to understand why the
sugar industry really cared about tooth decay so much so another paper here now
looking at heart disease so actually oh no this is still my dental caries study
so really the conclusion here just sort of focusing the research on non dietary
interventions as a means to prevent tooth decay so switching gears to some
of their heart disease projects so the next paper I looked at I wanted to
understand why the sugar industry was funding heart disease research and they
really got interested in this area in 1965 and they funded nine different
projects spending about seven hundred thousand dollars in today’s
and that first project was a literature review so I decided okay let’s dig into
that and see what they were up to and we heard a little bit from Jim about the
diet heart hypothesis in the 1950s this is when the evidence was coming out
linking saturated fat to heart disease and the idea of the low-fat diet was
really gaining traction and this is the president of the sugar Research
Foundation talking to a group of sugar beet growers talking about an economic
opportunity that he saw in the low-fat diet so if the American public switched
to a low-fat diet this change would mean an increase in the per capita
consumption of sugar by more than a third so they were getting very excited
about the potential of a low-fat diet back in the 1950s but they weren’t
really doing much in heart disease research at that point they but they
were watching very closely so vice president John Hickson of the
sugar Research Foundation started to notice an uptick uptick of research
starting to question the role of sucrose in heart disease so between 1960 to 1964
he reported that from a number of laboratories of greater or lesser repute
there are flowing reports that sugar is a less desirable dietary source of
calories and other carbohydrates in particular coming from Professor John
Yadkin but they still weren’t quite ready to act until 1965 when there was a
surge in media attention so it was the media attention that really was a big
factor so this article came out in the New York Herald Tribune which was a
competitor to the New York Times that’s not around anymore and it was
this big two-page spread on studies that had come out and annals of internal
medicine and it was talking about briefly it may be the sugar you eat
rather than or in addition to the type of fat in your diet that increases your
risk of heart attack up to now the sugar hypothesis had been mainly theoretical
supported by only a few studies so what these new studies did in the past the
biomarker that was of most concern was total cholesterol serum cholesterol
these new studies started to suggest that we needed to be concerned about
triglycerides as a biomarker and these studies showed that overconsumption of
sugar could cause elevated triglycerides and so these were the studies that the
sugar industry was getting very nervous about in the 1960s so what did they do
they commissioned a literature review mark hagstead was their major the lead
of the study and he at the times at the Harvard School of Public Health his
mentor was Fred stair who was also a consultant for the sugar industry but
hagstead was the one that correspondent back and forth with the sugar industry
and in hex Ted’s archives at Harvard it contains the correspondence going
back and forth and so we were able to see that they paid hagstead sixty five
hundred dollars about fifty thousand dollars in today’s money they correspond
it back and forth at least twenty four times on this literature review and
sugar industry was able to see drafts so this is the vice president saying let me
assure you this draft is quite what we had in mind and we look forward to its
appearance of print and this ended up being a two part narrative reviews this
is before the meta-analysis days so it’s a narrative review of the literature
linking sugar to coronary heart disease versus the literature linking saturated
fat to coronary heart disease and if you’re interested I basically spent a
year of my life going through the studies that were evaluated in this
paper and assessing them for bias and there’s a massive supplemental file that
goes along with this paper that will give you all the details on what they
were up to but ultimately their conclusion was that the low-fat diet was
the healthiest diet for heart disease and that saturated fat was the enemy and
that we should switch out saturated fat or polyunsaturated fat and they did it
in a very biased way and this was published in the New England Journal
Medicine obviously a very prestigious journal coming from the Harvard School
of Public Health and interestingly they did disclose
some funding from the nutrition foundation which is an industry funding
group but they did not disclose the funding from the sugar Research
Foundation but you know this is the 60s and so we didn’t have the rules like we
do now with conflict of interest but it is interesting that they would choose to
disclose one source of industry funding and not the sugar industry’s funding and
what’s key about these researchers are hexed and stare is they went on to be
very influential in the u.s. dietary guidelines so post 1977 the next round
was in 1980 and stare was on the group you know that reviewed those Dietary
Guidelines that was very lenient on sugar so yes ultimately what did we find
so they accentuated the inherent uncertainty of the studies linking
sucrose to coronary heart disease while they overstated the certainty of the
body of evidence linking saturated fat to coronary heart disease so this also
gave the sugar industry something to cite so anytime they were talking to
policymakers they could cite this incredibly influential two-part
literature review and the New England Journal of Medicine
so the third study I want to share with you is another heart disease study after
I did the lit review one I got very curious about some of the studies where
they were comparing starch to sucrose and one thing I should point out in that
New England Journal of Medicine review wasn’t just human studies they were
actually looking at animal studies as well and the authors dismissed animal
studies as being relevant to making any kind of a policy decision for humans but
interestingly the sugar industry then went on to fund their own animal studies
so okay wonder what they were up to so I looked at project to 5/9 which they
called the effective dietary carbohydrate load on blood libel blood
lipid level and germ-free rats so back then the technology to be able
to study rats that did not have a gut microbiome had just been developed they
were very expensive and complicated studies and they still are but the sugar
industry was really interested in this and they wanted to feed rats hi sucrose
versus high starch and do this with rats that had a normal gut my bike microbiome
and do it with rats that didn’t have bacteria and compare them and see if
there was a difference ultimately what they found was that there was a link
between the bacteria in the small intestine and so to get that
triglyceride response in the rats you had to have the bacteria and the small
intestine to get the triglyceride response so in essence what they were
doing is proving to themselves that there was a mechanism to explain the
link between sugar consumption and elevated triglycerides even though they
just paid the Harvard guys to claim the triglycerides were not a relevant
biomarker and that there was no plausible mechanism to explain the
relationship so this was a two-year study that wasn’t 100% completed so the
lead researcher Walter pover was updating the sugar industry periodically
and he wrote to them saying that he was really close he just needed something
like 16 more weeks and needed to extend his funding and the sugar industry
considered that and amongst themselves they were ranking the projects that
they’d been funding in heart disease and ranked PO vs. projects as having nil
value to the sugar industry after getting those initial results it wasn’t
going to be supporting the PR message that they were really interested in so
they did not give him that extra funding and his results were never published so
this is an example you know the sugar industry exploring for themselves
these plausible mechanisms and then keeping it to themselves
when we published this paper a reporter several reporters contacted the sugar
industry for their comment and they actually said well gee if dr. Kearns had
just contacted us we would have given her some more documents that could have
helped explain kind of what we were up to and they actually gave this reporter
this one document and I asked him I said did you actually read what they gave you
because I think it made their case worse so here’s what it said it says this is
them talking amongst themselves you know of interest are the human implications
it could be that those people showing extreme sucrose induced hyper like
premia are harboring an atypical intestinal flora so an example here of
what did the sugar industry know and when did they know it the results
suggested that gut microbiota might have a causal role in carbohydrate induced
hypertriglyceridemia and I actually forgot to mention another finding so
they had an incidental finding as part of the study they were just sort of
looking all different kinds of things that they can measure in these rats and
they looked at the urine and they found that there was a difference in beta
glucuronidase between the high starch fed rats and the high sugar fed rats and
beta glucuronidase had been linked to bladder cancer at the time and so they
were also talking amongst themselves said oh isn’t this interesting we found
this bladder cancer biomarker related to a high sugar diet and the regulations at
the time certainly the results would have strengthened the case that the CHD
risk of sucrose is higher and starch but also it was would have been likely that
sucrose might have been scrutinized as a potential carcinogen because this was
the time period when the FDA was also really looking at artificial sweeteners
and there was an artificial sweetener a class of sweeteners called cyclamates at
the time and it was the bladder cancer results that were the most definitive
and linking cyclamates to bladder cancer and so had these bladder cancer related
sucrose results been made like the FTA might have scrutinized
sugar even more heavily so just want to give you an idea of the impact of some
of these studies so we’ve gotten a lot of media attention which has been
wonderful so some of our research results have been picked up by the New
York Times you know made it in newspapers all over the world so it’s
wonderful to get those messages out to the public but it’s also had an impact
places like the World Health Organization’s this is Dart dr. Margaret
chin and she actually quoted our work when talking about public-private
partnerships with the food industry and policy making organizations like the
World Health Organization but we’re not quite there yet when we talk about the
tobacco industry the tobacco industry is no longer invited to the table in places
like the whu-oh or the UN but the food industry still is we still talk about
the food industry as being part of the solution that we can’t make the changes
that we need to make without working together with the food industry and well
you know the food industry that’s a really big term you know the tobacco
industry it’s much easier to kind of single out tobacco companies the food
industry is very broad but I I think that you know it’s fair to say that the
sugar industry the sugary food and beverage industry shouldn’t be at the
table but they still are the National Academy of Sciences I had the chance to
be part of a talk looking at trust in nutrition science it was actually an
education to me to really understand that the National Academy of Sciences
really isn’t a federal agency it’s it’s a private organization and it’s also
heavily funded by the food and beverage industry so there I was at the table for
this particular event and I’m sitting there with all the representatives of
the food and beverage industry and this could be one explanation by some of
those Institute of Medicine reports that have exonerated sugar if you look at the
sponsors they are sponsored by companies like Mars for example the global candy
manufacturer I’ve also now had a chance to work with some collaborators
on a series in The Lancet looking at oral health and getting more serious
about the links between sugar and oral health you would think that dentists
would be out there leading the charge but we’re not the American Dental
Association doesn’t support soda taxes the American Dental Association is still
waiting for more evidence to take action on a policy standpoint we’re fine with
doing dietary counseling you know in clinical practice but when it comes to
really standing up on the policy level we still have a long ways to go and I
know Rob’s been working with some dental organizations and we’re starting to to
see some action but we’re not as active as we should be and so this this Lancet
group is actually really exciting because this whole series looked at a
lot of things having to do with oral health but it really looked at the sugar
industry and what we’re calling now commercial determinants of health and so
this really had a focus on commercial determinants of health and there will be
and now a commission going forward that will be doing more research and getting
more serious about taking those on and then I also just participated in a side
event of the United Nations related to oral health but here it just sort of did
demonstrate dentistry kind of being stuck in the mud
you know we had global leaders from oral health there and we had a panel we had
panels on both sides so pro public-private partnerships and against
public-private partnerships and you can guess the side that I’m on and I was
together with marion Nestle and nina Renshaw from the NCD alliance and Sheryl
Hilton from the tobacco world and people from my own profession we’re calling us
conspiracy theorists and challenging us and it’s you know just saying some not
very nice things and it’s really kind of disheartening to see that and so when
the dentists you know when the most visible health effect of sugar aren’t up
there leading the charge and something’s really wrong so where am I going next
just to give you a sense for how much more there is to do this is
just looking at the sugar Research Foundation and their public health
projects that they sponsor between 1943 and 1972 number of projects so just on
nutrition 11 cardiovascular disease 9 15 different tooth decay projects eight
different diabetes projects etc and these all led to hundreds of
publications there’s over 300 publications that came out and I really
only written about a handful of these publications so there’s much much more
to do here and now that these documents are online anyone can look at this and
so hopefully if this is something that you’re interested in and you want to
know more you’ll take a look at the archive for yourself and then I’m also
very interested in thinking more about the public relations industry because we
talked about it’s the sugar industry doing these things or it’s Monsanto
doing these things but they’re working together with a team of lawyers are
working together with the team of public relations advisers and consultants that
are really helping them cast out they’re helping them be critical of the people
speaking out they’re helping them get to the policymakers and we really don’t
talk about the public relations industry this is a multi-billion dollar industry
you know it’s not just health it’s climate change it’s everything going on
these days and this is an example of a public relations plan from the sugar
institute documents from the 1940s and I picked this to show to you because of
the box for doctors and dentists on the right-hand side and here they’re
recognizing in the 1940s that the beliefs of doctors and dentists they
felt that sugar causes caries that they’re advising against sugar because
they believe it’s fattening or causes diabetes and then you know they go on
with their whole PR plan and here are the goals to be attained by this program
the doctors and dentists on the right they want them to no longer regard sugar
as a problem food this is 1945 you guys they have been doing this for even
longer than that you know probably a century of launch
these public relations campaigns targeting doctors and dentists
specifically with their PR programs but not only that educators nutritionists
and public health experts and consumers in particular and they’ve used very
sophisticated tactics to change what we think about sugar to change our dietary
counseling practices and to sort of decommission us from getting involved in
the policy sphere and then lastly just to give you a sense for what else is out
there to be found this was me visiting the Vanderbilt University which has a
very interesting nutrition science collection which we’ve now gotten three
or four of those collections getting put up online right now but this is a whole
bunch of file cabinets that no one has processed just sitting there waiting to
be explored and they you know they’re they weren’t sure that I was going to be
interested in there like you know we have the stuff down in the basement oh
sorry I I went down and I I just did their thumbing through all the stuff and
I just I just can’t believe what else is out there to be found you know this is a
time 50s 60s 70s all really important times for when the evidence base was
forming on a lot of the dietary guidance that we get now and it was before
computers you know everything was on paper all of these scientists that were
consulting for the various industries they were writing back and forth
typewriters and they kept all of that information and they ended up in lots of
cases donating it donating it to their universities and so there’s just a ton
more information out there to be found and so stay tuned there’s a lot more to
explore and yes that’s all I have for you thanks so much any questions that was a wonderful talk
and I remember when your famous paper came out with hex Ted who had long
learned to hate came out particularly pleased by that I I want to make two
comments apart from full of admiration for your
work I published a book a couple years ago on breakfast which may sound
frivolous but in fact breakfast is a very dangerous meal and my problem wall
and I came across that accidentally because of my own diabetes that’s how I
became interested my problem was I read paper after paper on breakfast and then
I suddenly had a moment of Revelation and I suddenly realized that every
scientists who published on breakfast knew what they were actually doing
because in over two hundred papers almost universally recommending
breakfast as being healthy for you and then once I learned what the tricks were
and I could learn to anticipate then three or four tricks in breakfast
science all these papers of course are funded by Kellogg’s or General Mills or
they don’t tell you who funds them I suddenly realized the entire breakfast
scientific community was made up of scientists who knew what tricks they
were playing and so to answer your question I think one of the fundamental
problems is it comes from the economists who have told us ever since 1945 that
governments should fund science to support industry which is a myth but
that is a very powerful myth that universities find very convenient my
belief is that government funding of science should be in opposition to
industry obviously I don’t mean places like CrossFit I’m talking about the food
industry and that you either work for a government laboratory and get proper
rewards and proper funding or you go over to the dark side but there should
be no links whatsoever between the NSF and the NI
and all these other CDC’s the lowest charitable arms and industry it’s a
recipe for corruption and your work has done the fantastic step of actually
spelling out that corruption and I congratulate you thank you
well I certainly agree with you on that point and you know just to get the
funding really to do the work that I’m trying to do is actually quite difficult
because I’m criticizing the federal agencies that would be the agencies that
would fund me to do this work so it makes it quite challenging but you’re
absolutely right and you know I think that again it’s sort of this PR
propaganda world of the businesses what they’re sort of keeping it from view
from us from what they’re doing doing behind the scenes and how are we going
to really be able to study that with a critical lens and it’s just it’s very
difficult and in this current environment it’s even more difficult all
right there you go why would a scientist that knowingly
does something wrong donate their papers to university for them to be discovered
later that’s a really good question maybe they thought they weren’t doing
anything wrong you know I think that I mean at the time sort of
the low fat diet that whole era that was really the status quo and so I could
envision you know being able to convince yourself that you were doing the right
thing but I also think that there are people out there doing the wrong thing
on purpose you

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