For several years now, the Corn Refiners Association (CRA, which has quite a substantial RD presence) has been in hardcore crisis management mode over high fructose corn syrup.
CRA’s cozy relationship with the Academy — CRA is able to teach ‘continuing education’ to dietitians — is a blatant strategic public relations move, which the Academy willingly participates in, allegedly as a way to deliver science-based information.
This article from Food Identity Theft gets into some interesting details about how CRA defends its bottom line behind a veneer of objective science. One excerpt:
“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.