Sugar, Ethics and Legislation
Journal of law and medicine 2010 May; 17(5): 784-99
There are serious ethical and legal issues concerning the sale of sugar products, especially to children, yet one cannot address children's consumption without addressing consumption across society. The ethical principles are not even controversial. However, sugar has been insufficiently scrutinised, probably because sweetness is popular and plays a prominent, but dispensable, cultural role. Sugar is both addictive and toxic, although it is a very mild, very slow-working poison. Yet, over time, its effects can be quite serious. The social and health problems have proved grave and intractable. Given the nature of sugar, it should be regulated like alcohol and tobacco, if not more stringently, given its greater social and cultural penetration across all ages. That is, sales of sugar products at school canteens should be banned, advertising severely limited, full disclosure of sugar content made mandatory, warnings placed on certain products, and sugar itself should be taxed.
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