You probably know that America’s sugar industry is protected, making astounding profits because of high tariffs and artificially raised consumer prices.
And you likely know that government has worked hand-in-hand with agribiz interests to cook up (and regulate) a competitive sweetener, high fructose corn syrup. You understand that there are various types of sugar, and almost certainly suspect that refined sugar is bad for you, with high fructose corn syrup perhaps worse.
In fact, the scientific evidence for the danger of a high sugar diet has been around since the 1950s.
Well, what we now know, Elizabeth Nolan Brown writes at Reason, is “how the sugar industry essentially bribed Harvard scientists to downplay sugar’s role in heart disease — and how the U.S. government ate it up.”
Before Reason weighed in, my colleague Eric D. Dixon sent me a New York Times story, which stated the main proposition plainly: “How the Sugar Industry Shifted Blame to Fat.” But Reason’s Brown is right: it was government that really made this a nationwide disaster. The imprimatur of government sanctified the anti-fat craze, and the government’s own dietary guidance (and regulations) proved grossly wrongheaded.
Now we’re the ones who are gross.
Scientists and government (bought off by a protected industry) fed us a line that many swallowed. We increasingly swapped fat for refined sugars, causing health to decline as girths went out and weights went up.
So when I hear outrageous claims for the “settled science of climate change,” I look at my middle and doubt that “settled” part. And I nurture an unsettling thought. . . . it’s the political science that’s settled: government lies to us.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.