How the sugar industry has corrupted Harvard researchers

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In the mid-1960s, the North American sugar industry has corrupted scientistsso they will minimize the links between sugar intake and cardiovascular disease, according to new investigation released in the JAMA Internaljournal.


The documents unearthed by researchers from the University of California are edifying.
They consist of numerous exchanges held during 1964 between John Hickson – a top executive of the sugar industry – and his counterparts from various companies in order to convince the public of the safety of their goods.

The survey indicates that an amount of actual €43,500 was given to the group of investigators to accuse the fat and minimize the effects of sugar in the onset of cardiovascular diseases. No less than 27 documents and 319 letters attest of the agreement between John Hicksonand Mark Hegsted, a Harvard researcher.

Thirteen years later, in 1980, the US government issued its first nutritional guide for Americans. One of the people who participated in drafting the document was Mark Hegsted, who was no longer working at the Harvard University, but who led the field of nutrition in the Ministry of Agriculture of the United States. The nutritional guide recommends a reduction in consumption of fat and cholesterol to prevent heart disease. There is not once mentioned the term “sugar” in the document.

This maneuver “managed to derail discussion of sugar for decades,” said Stanton Glantz, co-author of the JAMA Internal Medicine article. He considers it “very smart from the industry,” stressing that “summaries of studies – especially if you manage to get them published in a major journal – tend to shape the entire scientific discussion [ on the subject]”.


JAMA Internal Medicine, “Sugar Industry and Coronary Heart Disease Research: A Historical Analysis of Internal Industry Documents”, 12 septembre 2016

France Info , « Comment l’industrie du sucre a manipulé la recherche sur les maladies cardiovasculaires”,  13 septembre 2016