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Petition Urges Food and Drug Administration to Identify Safe Level for Added Sugars in Drinks

The petition cites "dangerously high sugar consumption" as a problem.

A consumer group, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, is urging the government to determine a safe level for added sugars in sodas and sugary drinks to reduce "dangerously high sugar consumption." 

USA Today reports the organization filed a petition with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, accompanied by a letter signed by 41 nutrition scientists and physicians and the public health departments of 10 major cities.

The reason for the petition? The Center for Science in the Public Interest says a diet high in high-fructose corn syrup and added sugars is linked to an increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, gout and tooth decay. And about two-thirds of adults and one-third of children in the USA are overweight or obese.

"The FDA has an obligation to review the safety consumption of sugars and set safe levels," CSPI executive director Michael Jacobson is quoted as saying. 

The alternative to added sugars? Beverage companies can use natural, non-caloric sweeteners and sweetness enhancers instead. 

A spokeswoman for the FDA said when a petition is filed, the agency reviews it and responds directly to the petitioner.

What do you think about the petition? Are consumers not capable of making decisions when it comes to what they eat and drink? Or does the government have an obligation to protect us? Tell us what you think in comments. 

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Michael Robinson February 13, 2013 at 09:36 PM
The problem with soft drinks isn't the sugar, any more than the problem with cake is the amount of sugar. The problem with soft drinks is that our culture treats them like sustenance rather than like the snack food that they are. Take some the sugar away and people will still crave the same amount of sugar, and they will find it. Solve our culture's addiction to sugar and you'll solve many of its problems.

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