Having frightened the living shit out of the general public during the initial phase of their campaign which established the narrative that sugar is a granular health menace which hides in plain sight in pretty much everything produced by the food industry, Action on Sugar now enter phase II of their campaign – Operation Sugar Tax.
Operation Sugar Tax basically involves more of the same – a round of interviews, press releases, scaremongering – with the ultimate aim of lobbying for, and attempting to justifying a sugar tax as a nice easy solution to the multifactorial problem of obesity, which we can conveniently lay at the door of the food industry.
Action on Sugar have some very specific stated aims which do admittedly include pushing the Department for Health for legislative measures but it is also worth noting these two less confrontational aims which presumably, should be attempted first
To reach a consensus with the food manufacturers and suppliers that there is strong evidence that refined added sugar is a major cause of obesity and has other adverse health effects.
To persuade the food processors and suppliers to universally and gradually reduce the added sugar content of processed foods
I have no idea why Action on Sugar included these aims because they clearly have no intention of working with the food industry, like many public health campaigners their mind is already made up regardless of the evidence, and they see no need to use a carrot when a stick will do.
They could of course prove me wrong and confirm which food companies they have been attempting to ‘persuade’ and ‘reach a consensus’ with. I’d wager that since formation they haven’t met a single one.
This is of course a moot point because when your ‘Science Director’ is regularly making derogatory hyperbole riddled statements about the Food Industry mostly based on flawed science they are unlikely to even want to sit on the same sofa as him, let alone engage in reasonable debate about the issues.
Barely had the ink dried on this post when Malhotra was at it again in this Daily Mail article in which he again alienates the food industry and falls only slightly short of accusing the government and their advisors of being outright corrupt. I presume he thinks this is the best way for Action on Sugar to achieve the following stated aims
To conduct a Parliamentary campaign to ensure the Government and Department of Health take action, and that, if the food industry do not comply with the sugar targets, they will enact legislation or impose a added sugar tax
To ensure the body of scientific evidence about the dangers of excessive refined added sugar consumption becomes translated into policy by the Government and relevant professional organisations.
It looks like Action on Sugar will be going it alone.