Gimme some Sugar

In the week where we saw the disgraceful act by Sam Gyimah, a British Conservative, who made sure that the wrongs against gays in the past remain, he filibustered the meeting, so that the Gay population will be stigmatised a little longer. Hiding behind “We have developed a way to do this without giving any perception that the pardon covers perpetrators of sex with a minor or non-consensual sex“, whilst it has been known quite clearly that there is no pardon for acts that are still criminal. We could ask if he has had non-consensual sex lately, because that might give cause for confusion. As I see it, this seems to be nothing more than the shameful act by a homophobic government representative. Yet that is actually not the worst what is happening. You see, George Osborne has had a few decent ideas and one of them was the Sugar Tax. The information that we get to some extent (at https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/oct/21/soft-drinks-industry-lobbies-government-dilute-scrap-sugar-tax), shows the information that “Research has found that drinking more than two sugary or artificially sweetened soft drinks per day greatly increases the risk of diabetes“, which would be worrying enough for most parents on the best of days. In this age of obesity, something needed to be done and the Sugar Tax would be one way of doing it. Is it the best path?

That is a fair enough question, and it could have been debated if the large corporations had actually done something, but they did not. They were in it to maximise profits. One could argue that the soft drinks companies are the new cigarette companies. The information that we get from all kinds of debatable sources is because the media at large refuses to properly inform the people. It is the old story of what I regard to be ‘whoring for advertisement‘ that is part of all that. The initial news (at https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/mar/16/george-osbornes-sugar-tax-economic-fears-budget), gave us the goods that when we see the Sugar Tax as “eventful by any standards”, you better realise that there will be plenty of opposition.

But that is not the biggest issue in this. The article that drew my attention gives us the following parts. “Health campaigners in favour of the proposed soft drinks industry levy said they are concerned that neither Theresa May nor Philip Hammond has personally spoken out in support of the tax since coming to office“, the fact that this gets delegated to junior ministers gives rise to the fear that things will get bungled and that implementation will be delayed or just blatantly rejected. This article also has a few issues. One of them is “At a drinks party at the Tory conference sponsored by the industry, a spokesman for the British Soft Drinks Association pleaded with Greg Clark, the business secretary, and MPs on the Conservative Reform Group to drop support for the levy, saying it would harm small businesses and cause job losses at a difficult time for the economy“. The first clear issue is who exactly was this spokesperson?

So, I decided to take another look and my first impression is that this BSDA reads like a joke (I have an evolved sense of humour, often intensely inappropriate). It starts with Health ‘Helping our consumers reduce their calorie and sugar intake‘. It comes with the picture of a woman you want to fuck six ways from Sunday on a daily basis. So we see nameless products with labels like Product Innovation Sugar Reduction and Smaller pack sizes. At this point you wonder what you are in for, in the ‘UK Economy section’ we see how £11 billion was added to the economy. This sounds so nice, but where was it added to the economy? Being THEIR revenue? That is aid to them, but is it truly aid to the UK economy? This site just reeks like corporate marketing in what they call a ‘non-profit coat’ and it is high time some changes are made.

From my point starting by adding to the sugar tax would be a great idea.

You see, the executive council of the British Soft Drinks Association (BSDA) includes Pepsi, Lucozade, Coca Cola, Red Bull, Tropicana and a few others. Many of them not paying heaps of taxation in the UK, Coca Cola avoided £102 million in the UK in 2012 (I have no clear numbers from the years following that) and was mentioned recently as one of the 50 stashing a total of 1.3 trillion off shore. It is time to stop enabling these large corporations, because this is one of the main reasons the NHS can no longer continue the way it did. If there was no large scale tax evasion, the sugar tax would never have come into existence.  In addition, stories on what Diet Coke apparently seems to do to the human body and the relentless support from the media through not illuminating it, because of the advertisement they represent. So for the most, many people, perhaps even better stated most people are unaware of certain cause and effect issues seen due to the usage of what we now laughingly refer to as the ‘diet fuzzy drinks’.

So now we get back to the lady on page one. You see, if the members of the BSDA are not doing their part other than hiding behind statistics, changes will be required. So if we need more physical exercise the BDSA can send their fitness/yoga outfitted lady to my address where I can lose 15,000 calories a day through consensual sex (when doing it 3 times a day that is).

Is this thought too inappropriate?

I think the BSDA is a hatchet job in this age of marketing to serve the interest of large corporations and their needs. Their needs being profit and only profit. The issues of the BSDA is just like the acts of Sam Gyimah. They are legal and part of the political life that needs to be frowned upon. The fact that the BSDA a non-profit organisation is bombarding advertisements with added twitter stories from a ‘Tunbridge Wells newsagent‘ whose business will be ruined by sugar tax. If that is truly so, perhaps they should try to sell newspapers. The fact that their business survives on sugary drinks is a bit of an issue, as they tend to be over 150% more expensive then the nearest supermarket. Just a thought!

These levels of marketing require a lot more scrutiny and no one is stepping to the plate to do so. A harsh reality of big business in charge. Yet, there is more, the BSDA reports on one of their pages “‘We are pleased that the latest NDNS data shows a decline of over 8% in teenagers’ sugar intake from soft drinks between 2012 – 2014“, which is a statement that might be true, but where is the data? The second statement is one I have a definite issue with. The quote “Soft drinks companies have taken significant action to help their consumers reduce their sugar intake since the NDNS data was collected over 2 years ago. Independent analysis confirms that sugar intake from soft drinks has been reduced by over 16% in the last four years“, I believe this to be incorrect. You see Coca Cola is as ‘sweet’ as it ever was, so were most other drinks. So here we see the switch from ‘sugar’ to these ‘diet’ drinks and the dangers there have been avoiding visible presentation and scrutiny from the media at large, because they are nowadays too much about circulation and advertisement. Then the page goes one step further and states “we understand there is more to do and only last year we set ourselves a 20% calorie reduction target by 2020“, now it is suddenly about calories? calories are mostly from sugar, meaning that this is about alternative ‘additives’, they might not show up on the calorie list, but there is enough worry to consider that it will show a long term effect on the human body. No one can know for sure, which is a truth in itself, but the fact that there are long term considerations and the fact that the almighty US FDA is suddenly way too quiet and we see certain aspects, we now also see that the FDA is now no more than a valve of corporate discrimination as to what is considered safe, set by who is bringing it to market. Is that not an interesting development? The fact that we see in this place that “A 2010 Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine review of the literature on artificial sweeteners concludes that, “research studies suggest that artificial sweeteners may contribute to weight gain”” (at https://usrtk.org/sweeteners/diet-soda-fraud/), whilst the media is too quiet is equally disturbing. The fact that the BSDA is all about promoting the biggest ‘dealers’ in sugary substances (with the clear exception of the British Sugar at http://www.britishsugar.co.uk/), seems to be pushed slowly into the background of the issue. The issue was the sugar tax!

So what economy is brought into danger? When we see Coca-Cola Coke 1.75L £1.71 and Any 2 for £2.00 (Source: Tesco), either the margins are astronomical, or Coca Cola is giving away their profits, what do you think is more likely to be the truth? So when we include taxation and Cola becomes 2 for £2.20-£2.40. Considering they are giving the second bottle for only £0.29, are they really in danger? Are any of those soft drink manufacturers in actual danger? No they are not, because in the end, there is a group that will stop getting the second bottle, yet in my pragmatic view, it is more likely that families will now only get this article twice a month instead of weekly. Which would reduce the sugar intake by a massive amount. Also, in light of the BSDA statement that teenagers were reducing intake by 8%, now consider that we see that Coca-Cola Coke 1.75L contains 29.0% sugar. How likely is that the 8% is just a weighted average and that the numbers are not that positive? I am using Coca Cola as an example, yet when we see that regular Pepsi contains 31.0% sugar, it seems clear that I have a case here. Now Pepsi might come with the response that their revenue comes from the Pepsi Max drinks, yet here we see ‘Low Calorie Cola Flavoured Soft Drink with Sweeteners‘ and ‘Contains a Sourced of Phenylalanine‘, with twice the sentence: ‘contains no sugar’. Yet the mention made me search and WebMD has this (at http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/phenylalanine-uses-and-risks). The warning is “Doses higher than 5,000 milligrams a day can cause nerve damage“, which sees like a really dangerous issue (and a massive dose is needed), yet there is no mention at all how much is in Pepsi Max, only that it has 0% sugar (on the website). In addition, the risk mention is “And use caution in taking phenylalanine if you have: High blood pressure, Trouble sleeping, Anxiety or other psychiatric problems, Also, it is unknown whether this supplement is safe in women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

That is a lot of risk groups, knowing that high blood pressure is a risk group here and also considering that “Approximately 16 million people in the UK have high blood pressure” (source: NHS UK) gives us that 24% of the population is a risk factor, so in my view, at that at this Conservative Tea Party (where tea is unlikely to be served), it seems to be sound advice that representing Pepsi, Mr Mark Elwell – PepsiCo International, remains quiet as a mouse. It seems to me that his conscience is better served with the Sugar tax in place, but that is just me speculating.

So here we see that those fueling the NHS customer base, are mostly all about not having to pay any bills in this matter. I think that the people forgot the 2004 movie Super-Size Me. Even as this was mostly about McDonalds, the fact that we are supersizing ourselves with that second bottle at a mere £0.29, we are doing the harm to ourselves. It is more than just taxation by rescuing us from ourselves. The Soft Drinks industry has the ability to throw millions in advertisement on a playful and sporty youth, yet they are not representative of this healthy life style, not to the degree it should be and that is the real danger. The fact that the BSDA spin machine is running at full power and that the image at present is that Prime Minister Theresa May is not taking this as serious as she should (by setting this agenda on the collar of a senior Conservative) is equally disturbing. You see, if the sugar tax is watered down or stricken off, she has absolutely no rights to deny the NHS the funds they need and she will have to order the current Chancellor of the Exchequer, The Right Honourable Philip Hammond to find those needed funds. In my view, good luck to that tall order, because there are almost no margins left to play with, the Sugar Tax was the first real step in creating some level of margins (to the smallest extent).

We have to admit that the BSDA has a right to do the things they are doing, they aren’t breaking any laws, yet the linked issues are there and the press overall for one isn’t doing its job to the extent they should be. When we see the end of the initial Guardian article, we see “The charity Action on Sugar has said the tax will have an impact on intake because people respond to price, but the government has said it wants the cost of the tax to be borne by the industry and not consumers“, there is truth in that and there is misleading parts in that. That is, when we widen the statement ‘the tax to be borne by the industry‘. You see, tax law overhaul is the only way to do this, the sugar tax will have an impact to the margin of profit making the industry increase the prices. That seems just mere logical. However, if we can make people reduce the purchase of these drinks, that too would be a positive effect. Any chance in lowering the intake of sugar and artificial sweeteners would be a massive win for the population of Britain. The fact that the government saw raising prices as a solution for the tobacco industry and not for the soft drinks industry is also worrying. You see, there is a direct health risk, so making these lemonades unaffordable would make sense, the fact that this isn’t treated as the dangers they represent, just like the denial we saw in the 80’s on tobacco is cause for distress and reason for debate. The only interesting ‘coincidence‘ is the quote in the Guardian, which is “The link between sugary drinks and obesity has been well documented with evidence suggesting they account for 29% of 11- to 18-year-olds’ daily sugar intake” and this is exactly the amounts of sugar that Coca Cola has in its bottles. Life is full of little coincidences, isn’t it?

 

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