Campden Day 2015

Between the various domestic crises that have been afflicting the family’s elders in recent months I managed to attend Campden Day at Campden BRE. As usual the weather was kind to the organisers; the previous day’s wind had been threatening to move the marquee to the next county but had dropped to the merest zephyr on the day itself. There were some interesting displays and thought-provoking speeches but, as usual, the best aspect was the chance to catch up with friends and colleagues.

I bumped into my old mucker Julian Cooper from British Sugar (or whatever they’re called these days). He tells me he’s retiring at the end of July. I have to say I think he’s managed well to stay sane after a couple of years being rolled out to defend sugar against all-comers whenever it’s been attacked as the source of all society’s ills. He’s been on a hiding to nothing in a climate where doctors and professors claim that the “food industry is killing us” and that “research will eventually prove that sugar is the villain here” to the extent that we don’t even notice how wild the claims are any more. Standing up and repeatedly restating the science can’t have been much fun. In an arena where the science is restricted by society’s reluctance to let researchers run double blind controlled feeding trials on statistically significant numbers of human subjects, the side with the better PR is always likely to win.

So, happy retirement Julian

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