Continuing with our recent theme of unlikely sources of “continuing education” permitted by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, we now arrive to the Corn Refiners Association (CRA).
For several years now, the CRA has been in hardcore crisis management mode over high fructose corn syrup. Not surprisingly, they quickly swooped in to get their message to dietitians.
Of course, the CRA’s cozy relationship with the Academy is nothing more than a strategic public relations move, which the Academy — for whatever reason — willingly participates in, all in the name of delivering “science-based” information.
This article on Food Identity Theft gets into some interesting details. Among them:
“SweetenerStudies, a serious looking site in gray and black, presents selected studies along with reviews by CRA consultants. In an attempt to appear objective, comments include study “strengths” along, of course, with “limitations.”
An example of this seemingly ‘fair and balanced’ approach can be found in an analysis featured at the group’s website of a recently published study in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) that showed the bad effects fructose can have on the brain appetite control region. The “strengths” section of the review, authored by Richard David Feinman, PhD, begins by noting that “the strengths in this study have to be seen in the context of its publication in a major medical journal and the significant media coverage,” and goes on to comprise all of two paragraphs.
By contrast, the “limitations portion” runs to a full ten paragraphs (actually, eleven, if you include a totally negative second paragraph of the “strengths” section in which Feinman contends that “…the data are over-interpreted and the writing demonstrates substantial bias.)”
It’s a true shame that with so much ground-breaking and truly interesting nutrition science out there, the Academy allows the likes of the Corn Refiners to educate this nation’s dietitians. Meanwhile, the Academy continues to ponder why the RD credential doesn’t carry more weight in certain circles. We have a few ideas…