Efsas svar på kritiken om sockerutredningen

I samband med Matens pris granskning av sockerlobbyns påverkan på EU:s livsmedelsmyndighet, Efsa, ville vi ställa en rad frågor till myndigheten. Här är deras svar.

Läs mer: Kopplingarna till sockerindustrin

En talesperson för Efsa svarar skriftligen att myndigheten har övervägt samma typ av bevis som andra internationella organisationer, som WHO. 

De svarar också att det viktiga inte är om studierna de utgått från är sponsrade eller inte, det viktiga är hur de gjorts och redovisats.

Myndigheten svarar också att ingen av panelmedlemmarna fanns ha några intressekonflikter när de granskades för sina uppdrag.

Frågorna och hela svaret från Efsa:

According to international expertise the conclusions of the Efsa panel were not based on the most relevant research

EFSA carried out a comprehensive review of the literature taking into account both independent and industry-sponsored studies. The type of evidence EFSA considered for this opinion was similar to that considered by other international organizations (e.g. WHO, SACN).

The majority of scientific reports used to demonstrate that there was no clear connection between increased body weight and added sugar were financed by the industry

What matters is not the status of a study – e.g. independent or industry-sponsored – but rather how well the study is designed, carried out and reported. Overall, EFSA concluded that there was some evidence that high intakes of sugars as sugar-sweetened beverages might contribute to weight gain. These same conclusions were also reached by WHO and SACN in 2015 (see FAQ for more explanations).

Nine of the panel members received financial support from the sugar industry.

EFSA’s Panel Members were all screened and assessed according to the strict criteria EFSA had in place at the time to guard against potential conflicts of interest. None of the experts taking part in this opinion were considered to have a conflict of interest.

Efsa panel disregarded the advice of its hired experts including Wulf Becker.

Ultimate responsibility for adopting scientific opinions lies with EFSA’s Panel Members. Their role is to question and challenge the draft scientific opinion that comes from the Working Group (to which Mr. Becker was contributing as rapporteur) and draft scientific opinions are not automatically adopted by the Panel. Furthermore, it is not accurate to suggest that the advice of the Working Group was disregarded in this case. The draft scientific opinion that came from the Working Group reached the same conclusion on the issue of the association between sugar consumption and body weight as the EFSA Panel, and this is reflected in the final opinion.

In conclusion: the Efsa report was biased due to financial ties both on a personal level in the panel but also in the scientific reports used in the Scientific Opinion on Dietary Reference.

EFSA wholly rejects these allegations, which are false and unsubstantiated.