Posts Tagged ‘co-opting science’

Media Coverage of Report: And Now a Word From Our Sponsors

In January, I released a report called, And Now a Word from Our Sponsors: Are America’s Nutrition Professionals in the Pocket of Big Food? The report continues to receive media attention, in part due to a Change.org petition asking the Academy to clean up its act. Be sure to sign on. Also, please support Dietitians for Professional Integrity, a new group of dedicated registered dietitians working to change the Academy’s sponsorship policies.

Continue reading →

When Will FDA Stand Up to Big Tobacco?

Many food advocates mistakenly believe that we just need to follow in the footsteps of the tobacco control movement and then we will win. It’s certainly true impressive gains have been made in reducing smoking rates in the United States. And the World Health Organization’s global tobacco treaty has tremendous potential to save lives around the world. Nevertheless, the public health crisis caused by tobacco remains quite serious.

Continue reading →

Is the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Silencing its Members Who Object to McDonald’s Sponsoring Lunch?

2/28 Postscript: In happy news, Tara Marino reports that after an exchange with Lauren Fox (social media manager for AND), she will be reinstated. Fox claimed that Marino’s comments were not the reason for her removal but rather AND was deleting all non-members of the Academy. Marino provided her member number, which cleared things up. However, still no word back from the California affiliate.

I received the following email from registered dietitian Tara Marino who says she was recently “deleted” from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics LinkedIn group after expressing support for my report on the organization’s questionable corporate sponsors. (See previous post on a similar silencing attempt.)

Continue reading →

McDonald’s “Educating” Nutrition Professionals

McDonald's booth at Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics expo promoting smoothies

In the report I recently released, (covered by the New York Times) “And Now a Word from Our Sponsors,” I described the various ways the food industry influences the largest trade group of nutrition professionals: the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. While other corporations such as Coca-Cola play a more prominent role by being an “Academy Partner,” McDonald’s engaged in its trademark health-washing at the Academy’s annual meeting last fall.

Read rest at Corporate Accountability International…

And Now a Word from Our Sponsors: New Report from Eat Drink Politics

January 23, 2013 – For Immediate Release

Public health attorney and author Michele Simon asks: Are America’s nutrition professionals in the pocket of Big Food? While the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ 74,000-member trade group partners with the likes of Coke and Hershey’s, the nation’s health continues to suffer from poor diet.

The largest trade group of nutrition professionals—the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics—has a serious credibility problem. In a damning report released today, industry watchdog Eat Drink Politics examines the various forms of corporate sponsorship by Big Food that are undermining the integrity of those professionals most responsible for educating Americans about healthy eating.

The report details, for example, how registered dietitians can earn continuing education units from Coca-Cola, in which they learn that sugar is not a problem for children and how Nestlé, the world’s largest food company can pay $50,000 to host a two-hour “nutrition symposium” at the Academy’s annual meeting. Additional disturbing findings from the report include:

  • Beginning in 2001, the Academy listed 10 food industry sponsors; the 2011 annual report lists 38, a more than three-fold increase;
  • Companies on the Academy’s list of approved continuing education providers include Coca-Cola, Kraft Foods, Nestlé, and PepsiCo;
  • At the 2012 annual meeting, 18 organizations – less than five percent of all exhibitors – captured 25 percent of the total exhibitor space. Only two out of the 18 represented whole, non-processed foods;
  • The Corn Refiners Association (lobbyists for high fructose corn syrup) sponsored three “expo impact” sessions at the 2012 annual meeting;
  • A majority of registered dietitians surveyed found three current Academy sponsors “unacceptable” (Coca-Cola, Mars, and PepsiCo);
  • 80 percent of registered dietitians said sponsorship implies Academy endorsement of that company and their products;
  • The Academy has not supported controversial nutrition policies that might upset corporate sponsors, such as limits on soft drink sizes, soda taxes, or GMO labels;
  • Sponsors and their activities appear to violate the Academy’s own sponsorship guidelines.

Among the report’s recommendations are for the Academy to: 1) provide greater transparency on corporate funding sources; 2) gather input from all members on corporate sponsorship; 3) reject all corporate-sponsored education; and 4) provide better leadership on controversial nutrition policy issues. Registered dietitian and Academy member Andy Bellatti, who has long criticized his professional group’s conflicted corporate sponsorships said:

Michele Simon’s report on the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is thoroughly researched and expertly points out the different ways in which the nation’s leading nutrition organization harms its reputation, efficacy, and members by forming partnerships with food companies that care more about selling products than they do about improving the health of Americans. Anyone concerned about public health will realize that the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is in dire need of systemic change if it hopes to take a leadership role and be taken seriously as the home base of the nation’s nutrition experts.

Report links:

Contact: Michele Simon at (510) 465-0322 or Michele@EatDrinkPolitics.com

Serving Science or Monsanto?

Timing of AAAS statement on GMO labeling is highly suspicious

With about a week to go before California voters head to the polls to decide the fate of Proposition 37, which would require GMO foods to be labeled, I expected an already ugly campaign to get even uglier.

But the latest gift to the No on 37 campaign smells especially bad. Last week, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS – goes by “Triple A-S”) released this “statement” on GMO labeling that sounds like it was drafted by Monsanto. The statement ends with the non-scientific but very quote-worthy conclusion that “mandating such a label can only serve to mis­lead and falsely alarm consumers.” While Prop 37 is never mentioned, what purpose could the timing serve other than persuading Californians to vote no on the measure?

Continue reading →

California Newspaper Editorial Boards Spread False Claims and Faulty Logic on Proposition 37

Each election season, proponents and opponents of the various initiatives on the California ballot hope for the state’s major newspaper endorsements. While you can’t expect every paper to endorse your side, Proposition 37, which would require labeling of foods produced using genetic engineering, seems to have had a string of incredibly bad luck. So incredible, in fact, that the reasoning behind several California newspaper endorsements of a No vote has me scratching my head.

Read rest at Center for Food Safety…

Meet the Scientific “Experts” Claiming GMO Foods are Safe

Last month, I wrote about how the food industry has hired powerful consultants with ties to Big Tobacco to oppose California’s Proposition 37, which would require labeling of all genetically engineered foods. Now, the No on 37 campaign (ironically named the “Stop the Deceptive Labeling Scheme”) is putting up alleged scientific experts to do its bidding, once again taking a page from the tobacco industry playbook.

Continue reading →

Top 10 Lies Told by Monsanto on GMO Labeling in California

right to know

The battle in California over Proposition 37, which would require labeling of foods containing GMOs, is really heating up. Millions of dollars are already being poured into the opposition campaign, with much of it going to former Big Tobacco shills. Over at GMO HQ, Monsanto recently posted this missive called “Taking a Stand: Proposition 37, The California Labeling Proposal,” in which the biotech giant explains why it is opposing the measure (to the tune of $4.2 million so far).

Continue reading →

Join Email List

Speaking Requests

Media Requests

Contact Michele Simon: michele@eatdrinkpolitics.com

Archives

  • 2016 (4)
  • 2015 (20)
  • 2014 (41)
  • 2013 (67)
  • 2012 (70)
  • 2011 (53)
  • 2010 (49)