CONTROVERSIAL SUGAR INDUSTRY STUDY ON CANCER UNCOVERED.

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CONTROVERSIAL SUGAR INDUSTRY STUDY ON CANCER UNCOVERED.

(CNN)An old study is now shedding new light on the sugar industry’s controversial past, and its secrets are being revealed in a new paper.

The 1960s study, which suggests a link between a high-sugar diet and high blood cholesterol levels and cancer in rats, was sponsored by the sugar industry, according to the perspective paper published in the journal PLOS Biology on Tuesday.
Yet the study itself was never published and has been forgotten until now.
“All we know is that the plug got pulled and nothing got published,” said Stanton Glantz, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco and a co-author of the new paper.
“Whether the investigator didn’t bother to try or whether he tried and failed, we don’t know. Or whether there was some kind of clause in his agreement with the sugar people that precluded him from publishing, we don’t know,” he said.

How the sugar industry sweetened research in its favor

This enigmatic study seems to provide evidence of the harmful health impacts of eating too much sugar. It also suggests that a group then called the Sugar Research Foundation might have manipulated scientific research in its favor, according to the new paper.
The authors of the new paper previously conducted a separate historical analysis of sugar industry-related documents and studies.
That analysis, published last year in JAMA Internal Medicine, suggested that the Sugar Research Foundation sponsored a research program that successfully cast doubt about the health hazards of a high-sugar diet and rather promoted fat “as the dietary culprit” in health concerns such as heart disease.
“The kind of science manipulation that the tobacco industry engaged in is exactly the same kind of behavior that we’ve documented in these papers from the sugar industry,” said Glantz, who has also studied the tobacco industry.

How a forgotten study gets found

The foundation, now called the Sugar Association, spoke out against that analysis last year and has contested the new PLOS Biology paper, telling CNN that it’s “not actually a study, but a perspective: a collection of speculations and assumptions about events that happened nearly five decades ago, conducted by a group of researchers and funded by individuals and organizations that are known critics of the sugar industry.”

What the sugar industry doesn't want you to know

What the sugar industry doesn’t want you to know 03:10
The association also noted that the study described in the new paper ended without publication partly due to being “significantly delayed” and “consequently over budget.”
“We don’t know what would have happened had this study come out differently and showed no effect of sugar,” Glantz said. “I would bet that it would have been published, and they would be thumping the drums about it.”
Cristin Kearns, an assistant professor at the UCSF School of Dentistry and lead author of the paper, said she learned about the long-lost study while collecting and analyzing letters between executives at the Sugar Research Foundation and various scientists from 1959 to 1971.
Then she noticed that the study was mentioned in a separate book that was published by the Sugar Research Foundation, which she found in a public library.
The book “listed all of their research projects between 1943 and 1972, and this project was listed in their report,” Kearns said. “This particular project didn’t have any publications, and so that made me curious about wanting to understand more about the project.”
The study was called Project 259, and the Sugar Research Foundation initially authorized 15 months of funding for it from June 1968 to September 1969, according to the paper.
As Kearns learned more about Project 259, she discovered that the study resulted in two findings in rats that, had funding been extended, would have been unfavorable to the sugar industry’s commercial interests, according to the paper.
BY: JACQUELINE HOWARD, CNN.

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