Diabetes UK Dances with the Devil

Should a diabetes charity take sponsorship money from a company that produces sugary drinks like Pepsi, J2o and Purdey’s? Of course, the answer is no. But that is exactly what the leading diabetes charity in the UK has just done.

Simple as Fat founder, Jon Gaunt is quoted in today’s Sunday Times describing the fact that Diabetes UK has accepted half a million pounds from Britvic as “disgusting” and he calls it “blood money”. Jon also adds that Britvic “is a company that still pushes sugary products. Diabetes UK has lost all credibility by doing this.”

For reference Britvic owns a range of brands including Tango and Robinsons. It also produces and sells soft drinks under licence from PepsiCo including Pepsi, 7UP and Mountain Dew.

Jon is not alone in condemning the charity – Dan Parker, a former advertising executive and a founder of Living Loud, which wants curbs on the marketing of sugary drinks to children, said:

“I can’t see it is any more valid for a diabetes charity to take money from a sugary drinks company than it would be for Cancer Research UK to take money from Marlboro.”

This is a brilliant point as it is clear the Food Industry is employing the same tactics that the Tobacco Industry used in trying to defend itself and it is worth reminding ourselves that Professor Tim Noakes, the leading LCHF expert, believes the sugar scandal will be bigger than Tobacco, in fact he describes our present dietary guidelines as a “genocide”.

To make matters worse Britvic and Diabetes UK announced their “blood money” deal just a day before the Charity announced that nearly 7 thousand children now have Type 2 Diabetes. This is about 10 times the number previously reported and as you are probably aware type 2 diabetes is much more aggressive in children.

Twitter has been alive with condemnation since the story broke with comments like “Is this a joke?” and “It’s just madness. Why don’t you just partner with Cadbury?”

Jo Gilchrist summed it up like this, “Conflict of interest, fat cats fuelling diabesity. Britvic no doubt gets a nice little tax write off from funding what is essentially using Diabetes UK to endorse its products as healthy when they’re far from it. Shame on Diabetes UK sell out.

As Linda Hamilton points out on Twitter – that there are 13 grams of sugar in a J20. 77 grams in a 20 oz Mountain Dew. 34 grams in a 20 oz Gatorade. 57% fruit (sugar) juice from concentrate plus glucose in a Purdey’s. 4.7 grams of sugar per 100ml in a Drench. 14 grams of sugar in a can of Tango.

The response from Britvic is predictable and in the same vein as the way Coca Cola defend their sugar-based drinks,

“Hi Linda, the majority of our drinks are low or no sugar (94% of Britvic’s owned brands are below or exempt from the Soft Drinks Industry Levy)”

What they fail to say is that the percentage is actually 72 percent when you include the PepsiCo brands they make under licence!

The Soft Drinks levy is a joke and the simple plain facts are that there are no drinks in the Britvic range, apart from their plain water brand, Ballygowan that a type 2 diabetic should be drinking.

So, the question has to be why would the leading diabetes charity Diabetes UK take money from sugar pushers and it is hard to argue with Cardiologist Aseem Malhotra’s verdict that Diabetes UK “is now a seriously conflicted organisation”.

So why does any of this matter? You might say, “If you don’t want to drink sugar do not buy these Britvic products!”

Yes of course that is true.

However, talking from the point of view of a Type 2 diabetic for over 15 years Jon Gaunt says, “there is already too much conflicting, bad or plain wrong dietary advice out there. Therefore, we need to be sure that all Diabetes charities are completely free of any conflict of interest and that is why Simple as Fat condemns this blood-money deal!

Read the full Sunday Times article here

And also now the Daily Mail have picked up on the story, read more here…

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