THE EDITOR: The call by business executive Gary N Voss for a law regulating sugar content in beverages should be rejected by both business people and ordinary citizens.
Businesses which manufacture beverages decide sugar content based on what they think will appeal to the majority of customers. That content must reach the happy medium between too sweet and not sweet enough. If the State mandates sugar content, it is, therefore, involving itself in a manufacturing process it has absolutely no expertise in. This will lead to drop in sales for the business, consumers adding sugar, and a black market in unregulated beverages.
The argument that such regulations are justified due to the undoubted link between soft drinks and obesity must logically lead to a similar controls on white flour, white bread, white rice and white pasta, which contribute more to weight gain than beverages, as well as on doubles, pizza, fries, potato chips and chocolate.
This kind of food paternalism is based on the principle that those in authority (ie, politicians and bureaucrats) and people like Mr Voss know what is best for everyone else and are, therefore, entitled to force their views on all citizens. Presumably, given that Mr Voss is not in the beverage industry, his salary and share dividends will not be affected by any reduction in beverage purchases and may, in fact, increase his income since, if consumers spend less on soft drinks, they will have more money to spend on the products of the company he works for.
Elton Singh, Couva