Toxic Profits

By Dean L. Jones

Each year, candy makers alone rake in over $7 billion, ice cream sales bring in over $10 billion, and pastries average well over $33 billion.  These general revenue figures are consequential from the main ingredient processed sugar, which has come about from everybody’s incessant indulgence to satisfy a personal sweet tooth.

Consequently, it is the teeth that suffer the most from eating all of these sugary treats, and it has been scientifically documented by the government for more than a century.  The processed sugar industry has always taken complete influence over what the government says about eating sugary-filled foodstuff.  For instance, in the mid 20th Century, a U.S. governmental National Caries Program (NCP) was established to boost cavity prevention, which aimed to eradicate tooth decay by the end of the 1970s.

Although the findings were completely evident surrounding the dangers of eating sugar, rather than recommending sixty years ago that people reduce sugar intake, this government-funded research focused on interventions that did not advise Americans to lower their sweets consumption.  What took place instead was that the government campaigned and established legislation encouraging the wider use of fluoride and sealants in dental hygiene.

The sugar industry power made that happen, and it is another example of the arrogant capitalistic configuration of the United States of America.  Sugar was labeled as White Gold by the British Colonists, which was the definitive money engine of acquiring slave labor by forcing millions of African people to the Americas in the early 16th-century, to process the sugar-cane crops.

The history of every nation in the Caribbean, much of South America and parts of the Southern United States was forever shaped by sugar cane plantations started by European industrialists.  Huge profits were garnered from the sugar trade and that money eventually aided America to achieve independence from Great Britain.

Fast-forward, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report how tooth decay is the most common chronic disease among children and adolescents.  Also, more than 2/3 of Americans are overweight or obese, which is not surprising since the average American eats146-pounds of flour and about 152-pounds of sugar a year.

Being misled by the government and product marketing and labeling has steered parents into thinking that fruit drinks, sports drinks and flavored water are healthy options for kids.  Although most know that soda pop is not good for children, too many choose to believe that sugary drinks are acceptable to quench your thirst.

However, one should never be misled by of clever marketing around flavored waters, juices, sports drinks and even milk products.  Ingesting processed sugar is basically a toxic substance.  Do not become unduly influenced by tricky nutritional claims appearing on the packages, such as, low in calories, real, natural, contains vitamin C, antioxidants, and/or low in sodium.  Accordingly, it is never too late to live SugarAlert!
Dean Jones is an Ethics Advocate, Southland Partnership Corporation (a public benefit organization), contributing his view on certain aspects of foodstuff.