The Slovak Association of Consumers has tested a number of products (Coca Cola beverages, Milka chocolate, black and red pepper from Kotanyi, Nescafé Gold instant coffee, Jacobs Kronung grain coffee and Tchibo Espresso coffee) for variance across several retail points across Europe. They’ve found significant differences:
"The products affected by lower quality were meant for so-called 'new' EU member states," the association's chairman, Miloš Lauko, told journalists upon unveiling the survey. "It was never the case that the lower quality product was placed on the German or Austrian markets," he said.
Coca Cola appears to use cheaper sugar in Eastern Europe:
For Coca Cola, tests serve to confirm widely reported claims that versions of the soft drink sold in Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania contain isoglucose made of corn, which is much cheaper than the regular sugar (sacharose) added to the drink in Germany, Austria, Poland and the Czech Republic.
"Our products are made to the same high quality across Europe and the world, based on the recipe we have been using for 125 years. In some countries, we use different types of sweetener, but this has no impact on the quality of the product," Ibolya Szabo, senior communications manager at Coca Cola Europe, told EurActiv.
Meanwhile, the company told EurActiv Slovakia that isoglucose was also used in United States and claimed that the discrepancy was a result of technical considerations in the production process.
There is an entire controversy dating back several decades concerning sugar and its various versions. In short, sucrose is made of glucose (used by all body organs) and fructose (considered by some toxic). Since 1975, when HFCS was introduced, the diabetes and obesity rates in US population have essentially exploded. Meanwhile, fat has been vilified while sugar has generally been “taxed” more stringently in Europe than USA, where it gets a free pass and it is a main staple of the American diet. Emerson and Yudkin (followed later on by Lustig and Atkins) seem to have lost out to Elliott Joslin and the sugar & sugar substitutes industry (some see Cheney / Rumsfeld’s hands in that). The rivalry between Joslin and Yudkin is similar to that between Chomsky and Skinner, with the latter losing and the former continuing to influence thinking in their field, despite shoddy arguments but due to better PR and debating skills.
If, like me, you think that a “sweet tooth” is responsible for liver fat accumulation and metabolic syndrome, you might want to know that the following foods are helpful in preventing the onset of diabetes and insulin resistance (according to Jean Valnet, an old nutritionist MD): asparagus, oatmeal, chicory, cabbage, cress, beans, lettuce, black mulberry, bilberry, peanuts, walnuts, olives, potatoes, blueberries. (Of these, I’m not so sure about potatoes.) Most of all, exercise at least 30 minutes a day and preferably 1h.
Luckily, today Yudkin’s papers and the body of work they spawned are being rediscovered: [Dietary Fibre and the Pattern of Diseases] [Early Childhood Caffeine and Sugar Habituation] [76 Ways Sugar Can Ruin Your Health] [The Dangers of Sugar] [146 Reasons Why Sugar Is Ruining Your Health By Nancy Appleton, PhD] [124 Ways Sugar Can Ruin Your Health] [Sugar Addiction] [volume 3-4.new]