Sugar Cane Commodities

Sir: Action on Sugar member Robert Lustig (‘Why added sugar should be regulated,’ The Saturday Essay, 5 July, p24) seems to have failed to read SACN’s recent draft carbohydrate scientific review, the most comprehensive of its kind undertaken in recent years. The draft report, which looked at the best available evidence to date, concluded that sugars per se had no effect on coronary outcomes, blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, blood glucose or blood insulin - pretty well all the markers of metabolic syndrome. Furthermore, on the same day Public Health England said that it was not aware of evidence that indicates sugars are addictive.

What SACN did find was that higher intakes of sugars can lead to higher intakes of energy, which can lead to weight gain and obesity. We recognise this, and FDF will continue to play its part to help consumers to reduce their calorie intake and to be more active. Our members have committed to reducing calories in their products under the DH Responsibility Deal and this has often included a reduction in sugars as part of the wider calorie reduction plan.

What we’ve seen since the launch of Action on Sugar is the abuse of science and scientists, and the spread of misleading, often conflicting messaging which has left the majority of consumers utterly confused. I fail to see how that is in the public interest, or indeed how it will help individuals to make better choices, something on which the food industry remains focused.

Melanie Leech, director general, Food & Drink Federation