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Sugar, sugar, sugar Republican disses sweeter than whine
by Bryan Zepp Jamieson
Zepp's Commentaries
January 28, 2004

Back in April of last year it came to light that some Republicans were demanding that Congress cut funding for the World Health Organization, because the WHO was issuing a report that suggested that people should restrict their average sugar intake to 10% of their daily caloric intake (presently in America it is an amazing 20-25%). There isn't a nutritionist in the world who won't tell you that people inhale far too much refined sugar for their own good, and need to cut back. They've been saying this for 50 years and more. Sugar is empty calories that promote obesity, tooth decay and diabetes, and a host of other medical problems.

I wrote an essay on it ("Sugar, Sugar -- But profits are sweeter" http://www.zeppscommentaries.com/Sociology/sugar.htm ) noting that the American sugar industry was the force trying to get WHO to back off on the report and pressuring Congress to defund WHO if they continued to threaten profits for the sugar cartels.

Nine months later, not much has changed. WHO did go ahead and issue the report over the wails of corrupt sugar barons and their pet monkeys on a stick in Congress, but Congress didn't dare attack WHO, since it was enjoying favorable publicity world-wide for its efforts in containing SARS, Mad Cow Disease, Avian flu and a host of other threats that have emerged in recent years.

Now WHO is issuing dietary guidelines to restrict sugar intake. You don't have to read it to have a good idea what it says. Cut back or eliminate soft drinks, candy, and cut back on processed foods, which often have sugar added during processing. Stay away from junk food (McDonalds' restaurants used to add extra sugar to their buns so they would brown more quickly when toasting).

In other words, it's all common sense dietary advice, and there's probably nobody out there over the age of 40 who hasn't heard identical suggestions from their family doctor as a means to either get or stay healthy. Americans have been hearing -- and largely ignoring -- such advice for many years.

Now that low-carb diet plans have gotten big enough to have an economic impact (I see some good things coming from this, such as bread that is four grams of carbohydrates a slice and that has eliminated sugar from its recipe, to the ridiculous, such as "low-carb" vodka. Folks, the only way to significantly reduce the carbs in liquor is by taking the alcohol out!) the sugar industry is cranking up the pressure on Congress.

They are saying the same crap that the oil companies say about climate change, or what the tobacco industry used to say about health concerns regarding smoking: "junk science," "flawed investigations," and "politically motivated."

It took a special kind of whore to state that claims that tobacco caused lung cancer were "junk science." It was pretty much limited to the pathetic pseudo-scientists who worked for the tobacco companies, and Rush Limbaugh and his brain-dead followers. Maybe Rush took pain pills before uttering such claims for the same reason a streetwalker snorts some coke before heading down the stairs: it makes an unpalatable job more bearable.

It's getting harder and harder to claim there is no global warming. The case that it's natural, as opposed to man-made, is getting weaker as more and more evidence turns up. People who claim that global warming is a result of solar fluctuation, or melting CO2 ice on the ocean floor, or from volcanos aren't subject to widespread derision and contempt like the ones trying to claim there is no global warming, but things are moving in that direction as more and more measurements and data pour in.

But saying that sugar is fattening is one of those statements that is so commonplace that a refutation would seemingly defy reason. What kind of whore would stand there and say that suggestions that sugar is bad for you, that it's fattening and will rot your teeth, and that you should cut back on it, are "junk science."

Folks, meet the Bush administration. They are doing what even Congress wouldn't do, and they are going to bat for the sugar industry to fight the good fight against warning people that sugar is not good for them and they should cut back.

If nothing else shows what a pathetic captive of special interests this administration is, this will. They stand four-square against the American public and the general welfare of the people on issues such as medical care, the environment, social spending and accountability. They are entirely the creatures of the plutocrats and interests that see the American people as a source of income and nothing more.

The administration is trying to get WHO to back down from issuing guidelines regarding the amount of sugar people should limit themselves to.

To this end, the usual assortment of lies is being issued by the usual assortment of liars at Fox News and AM radio and from GOP fax machines. The claim is being made that the UN is trying to compel people to cut back on sugar, that the guidelines are meant to be law, and usurp the sovereignty of individual nations. (It's always a bit disconcerting to see the same people who attacked Afghanistan and Iraq start prattling about "national sovereignty," isn't it?)

And of course, it is a pack of lies. The UN is issuing guidelines. Nothing mandatory. Nothing compulsory. Just an advisory that people should restrict sugar to 10% of their diet.

That's all.

Incidently, according to Open Secrets, PepsiCo gave $540,913, 81% of it to Republicans. American Crystal Sugar gave $520,000, 39% of it to Republicans. US Sugar Corp gave $503,580, 58% to Republicans. ConAgra Inc gave $452,369, 77% to Republicans. Florida Crystals Inc gave $418,740, 40% to Republicans. And Ocean Spray Cranberries gave $374,550, 43% to Republicans.

These days, being a member of the Administration is a bit like being a streetwalker.

The job leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

But the pay is sweet.

Sugar, Sugar But profits are sweeter by Bryan Zepp Jamieson


There's a rather nasty epidemic affecting Asia and Canada that is threatening to become a very nasty pandemic threatening the entire world. Unfortunately, it got its start in a country governed by a dishonest, paranoid, and secretive regime. For once, I'm not talking about the Putsch junta: this is China.

The entity most responsible for fighting the spread of this virus, and for forcing the paranoid bureaucrats of the Beijing regime to give an honest accounting of the course of SARS in their country, has been the World Health Organization (WHO), the health branch of the UN. WHO is the international version of the Centers for Disease Control in America, and like the CDC, WHO tracks contagious diseases, coordinates research to find ways of preventing the spread, and proposes measures to prevent such contagions in the first place. It's impossible to guess how many lives they've saved over the past 55 years, but tens of millions is probably a conservative guess. vWhen China lied to the world about SARS, it was WHO that called them on it -- had the knowledge to be ABLE to call them on it -- and has gradually been getting a more accurate picture to help the rest of the world prepare for what might be a very serious problem.

WHO coordinated research efforts among the French, Canadians, and Germans, and identified the coronavirus that caused the disease and mapped its genome in the amazing period of just a few weeks. WHO has been exemplary in raising concern while assuaging panic. They have been real heroes over the past three months, from the time they first became aware that there was something going on in China.

Enter the sugar industry. Lobbyists for American sugar and soft drink manufacturers are approaching Congress with a request.

They want Congress to cut funding for WHO, thus destroying it.

It doesn't matter how many times you blink at that sentence -- it's not going to change. They want to destroy WHO.

The reason for this is that WHO, which has to do, as part of its mission, studies on nutritional health, is issuing a new report containing guidelines for good diet today, and in the report, they recommend that a healthy diet consist of no more than 10% sugar.

The folks who make lots of money selling you sugared foods and soft drinks beg to differ. They think a rich and satisfying diet should consist of about, ohhh, twenty five percent sugar. They probably also think that any mouth with more than ten teeth in it is just a waste of enamel, too.

They've already launched a barrage of propaganda against the report, of a viciousness and dishonesty that the tobacco industry could only dream of. Defying nearly every legitimate nutritionist in the world, they condemned WHO for "misguided, non-science-based reports which do not add to the health and well-being of Americans, much less the rest of the world" and swore to "exercise every avenue available to expose the dubious nature" of this report. The sugar salesmen wish to avoid the effort of such intense lobbying in the future by requiring "future WHO funding to be provided only if the organization accepts that all reports must be supported by the preponderance of science." If that noise sounds vaguely familiar, it's the same demands that the tobacco, timber, and anti-science religious whack industries have been screeching for years.

The sugar industry claims that a report by the Institute of Medicine backs their claim that healthy diets should consist of 25% sugar. But Harvey Fineberg, Institute president of the Institute, warned that the report was being misinterpreted. He says it does not make a recommendation on sugar intake. Ooops.

Pepsi Cola and Coca Cola have been vigorously fighting another report that indicates that in developing countries where the soft drinks are getting widespread acceptance, nutritionists are seeing more and more kids who suffer simultaneously from malnutrition and obesity. What swell guys they are!

There's a chance of course that our once-proud Congress, now a motley collection of begging whores sleazing from corporation to corporation for the next campaign donation and a fat corporate job after they leave public office, will go along with this.

If that happens, it will mark yet a further low point in America's rapid descent.

Medical people have little use for sugar. It's empty calories that don't benefit the body at all. Further, it destroys teeth, and yanks blood sugar levels all over the place, thus promoting diabetes. Most doctors will recommend eliminating sucrose from the diet altogether, and the late Doctor Atkins took it a step further, recommending elimination of all fruit in the first stages of his diet, thus eliminating fructose as well as sucrose, and only reintroducing small amounts of fructose in later stages of the diet. He saw no reason for a person to ever eat any refined sugar ever again.

Even the soft drink people have been trying to get away from sugar. Aspartame (Nutrasweet) was supposed to be the saving replacement, but aspartame comes with a wide variety of side effects, including obesity (it somehow spikes blood sugar, increasing appetite, which sorta defeats the purpose), liver and kidney problems, migraines, depression, and even neurological problems.

Cyclamates were associated with bladder cancer in laboratory rats, but skeptics outside the sugar industry noted that had the rats been fed equivalent amounts of sugar, they would have all died from obesity and diabetes. Incidently, after thirty years of use in Canada, no elevated instance of bladder cancer has been found in humans, not even in Quebec.

The latest artificial sweetener is sucralose, which is sugar molecules with a chlorine molecule added. While, like its predecessors, it's not perfect (there are reports of lab animal subjects getting shrunken thymus glands (up to 40%) and enlarged liver and kidneys), it has zero calories, doesn't rot the teeth, and doesn't jigger the blood sugar levels. Conditionally, it looks a lot more promising than aspartame at this point.

It has been authorized for sale in the US, and is available on the shelves under the brand name of "Splenda." It has a huge advantage over cyclamates or aspartame in that it is stable in heat and oxygen, and is thus ideal for cooking and can mix with acidic and carbonated beverages quite well.

Another sweetener is Stevia, which a Canadian nutritional page describes as follows: "This is a non-caloric, zero-carb natural sweetener, derived from a South American plant stevia rebaudiana, and has been in wide use in Asia for some years now. It's becoming more readily available in North America; look for it in health food and natural food stores. So far, it appears to be well-tolerated, with no reports of negative effects. It is available as a liquid extract - either concentrated or dilute, a white crystalline powder made from the extract or simply the powdered green herb leaf. It provides an intense sweet taste, which has the potential to be bitter. Some people find it has a slight anise/licorice flavor which may or may not be objectionable. Also, some studies suggest that it may possibly stimulate the release of insulin; in Protein Power Lifeplan, the Eades' recommend using stevia with caution. It is stable in heat, so is fine to use in cooking.." [Source: http://www.lowcarb.ca/tips/tips006.html]

The same entities that are trying to punish the World Health Organization for merely suggesting that people limit their intake of sugar are the very same ones who are frantically seeking replacements for sugar. Pepsico and Coke are in a race to get sucralose-sweetened sodas on the market first.

They know the destructive effect sugar is having on people, and like the tobacco industry before them, they are trying to do everything they can to prevent it all from caving in on them.

But trying to destroy WHO as a punishment for saying the same thing that most family doctors said for years is insane. If they press this, they should be held criminally and civilly liable, and any Congressman who supports such a vicious, hare-brained destructive notion should be targeted for defeat for deliberately attempting to injure the American people.

WHO has saved tens of millions of lives. Sugar has destroyed tens of millions of lives.

Try to figure out what the right move is, Congress. And for once, don't let psychotic thieves like the sugar companies own your consciences.

Posted: January 28, 2004


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