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O'Dowd welcomes UN decision to reconsider report on sugar

12 October, 2004

A decision by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) to reconvene its research committee as a matter of urgency, following revelations that the sugar industry may have unduly influenced its research and reports, is to be welcomed according to Sinn Féin's health spokesperson, John O'Dowd MLA.

Mr O'Dowd said,

"The relationship between excess sugar consumption, obesity and Type 2 diabetes is one which health professionals have identified as one of the growing health problems within society today.

"I welcome the fact that the FAO is urgently investigating recent claims that a key consultation into how much sugar we should be eating was secretly funded by the sugar industry. Since its publication, this consultation report has been used by the sugar industry to fight any suggestion of a link between sugar and health concerns.

"It is clear that surreptitious attempts were made to prevent an upper limit being placed on the amount of carbohydrates and sugar which people should have as part of their diet. Obviously had the report stated that sugar should not form more than ten per cent of a person's carbohydrate intake, there would have been massive repercussions for the sugar industry and for those involved in food processing and manufacturing.

"This move by the FAO to reconvene the research committee will hopefully lead to limitations being recommended for sugar consumption and towards more in-depth research on the impact of processed foods on the body." ENDS

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