WHO Gives Sugar Bum Rap

Published online: Apr 21, 2003
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Strong opposition to the World Health Organization’s Diet and Nutrition report is being sounded by United States The Sugar Association.

The release of the WHO’s report is scheduled for April 23 in Rome.

Andrew Briscoe, president and CEO of TSA, is adamant that any scientific report that affects world health policies and global implementation strategies must be based on the preponderance of scientific evidence.

Briscoe says the response from Director General Gro Harlem Brundtland has not been acceptable, he said. “She continues to assert that the report considers ‘the best available evidence on the relationship between sugar and several health outcomes, particularly obesity and dental disease…’”

Briscoe says the WHO report is based on 11 scientific references—one of which is almost 30 years old. He said the blatant absences of the September 2002 release of the National Academy of Sciences’ Dietary Reference Intakes Report and the 2001 publication of the USDA’s Current Knowledge of the Health Effects of Sugar Intake,

Causes WHO’s credibility to be called into question.

The Association has requested time on the agenda at the May 29-30 WHO Executive Board meeting in Geneva to clarify its position. A response has not yet been received.