The Union of Concerned Scientists’ Center for Science and Democracy has published a report describing how companies with an interest in promoting sugar consumption have hidden scientific evidence that reportedly reveals sugar to be a serious health threat. Goldman et al., “Added Sugar, Subtracted Science: How Industry Obscures Science and Undermines Public Health Policy on Sugar,” June 2014. Likening sugar interests to the tobacco industry, the report accuses companies of (i) attacking science, including burying data and threatening funding to the World Health Organization; (ii) spreading misinformation through research institutes, trade associations and front groups; (iii) deploying industry scientists to conduct studies and participate in scientific discussions; (iv) influencing academia by paying academic scientists to persuade other scientists of their positions; and (v) undermining policy through lobbying and supporting political candidates.
The report urges the media to call out sugar interests’ misrepresentations of science and encourages scientists to disclose all real or perceived conflicts of interest. It also advocates action from the U.S. surgeon general, National Prevention Council, Food and Drug Administration, and U.S. Department of Agriculture.