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WHO diet advice unaffected by food industry lobbying.

A draft report on diet and chronic disease issued last month by the UN World Health Organization (WHO) and Food and Agricultural Organization (FAQ) stirred up an impassioned response from the U.S. sugar industry. Among other things, the report found that "a diet low in energy-dense foods that are high in saturated fats and sugars, and abundant in fruit and vegetables, together with an active lifestyle are among the key measures to combat chronic disease." Even before WTO released the final version of its diet and nutrition report, the Sugar Association voiced its opposition to the recommendations, one of which was that consumers limit their daily sugar consumption to not more than 10 percent of all their calories.

According to WHO President and CEO Andrew Briscoe, "We remain adamant that any scientific report that affects world health policies and global implementation strategies must be based on the preponderance of scientific evidence." The association says it opposes the report's findings because they: 1) are not based on the preponderance of science; 2) not undergone due process involving WHO executive board endorsement or approval by the WHO World Health Assembly; 3) have not been peer-reviewed, and 4) fail to take into account the effect that lower sugar consumption would have on producers in developing countries.

The WTO is standing by its draft report despite opposition from sugar groups. "WHO believes that the findings represent the best available science in the world. We stand by it," WTO spokesman Jon Liden told Reuters. "We have not found anything in the sugar industry's argument that makes us reconsider any findings," Liden said. He added the WHO had recommended a 10 percent limit as far back as 1990.
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Title Annotation:World Health Organization
Publication:Food & Drink Weekly
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 28, 2003
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