What can sugar teach us about evidence-based chemical regulation?

Health & Environment

This month, we recommend reading “The Sugar Conspiracy”, a Guardian Long Read by science writer and journalist Ian Leslie. The article is interesting because the challenges of developing evidence-based chemical regulations are mirrored in this account of the lessons we should be learning from a 60+ year-old argument about the place of sugar and fat in dietary guidance for public health.

Jelly Sugar Candy - Renatto Vect - Flickr - edited

Sugar, chemicals, and the role of science in policy-making

Chemicals and public health policy both sit at the interface of science and decision-making, trying to make sense of accumulating scientific evidence about health risks posed by chemicals, how to best make use of that ever-shifting research landscape to agree on desired outcomes, and shape the policies that will stand the best chance of achieving them.

The first lesson about the relationship between science and policy, which “The Sugar Conspiracy” gets right, is that scientific research as well…

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