The era of “sitting at the table with questionable partners,” if you will, is well in decline. It’s ultimately a matter of seeing the writing on the wall and making the appropriate adjustments.
Over in the United Kingdom, The Daily Express reports the following:
“Members of health watchdog Nice should have no financial ties with drugs companies they are ruling on, the British Medical Association has demanded in the wake of a row over statins.
The doctors’ body last week voted for new rules to prevent the advisory committee of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence having links with pharmaceutical firms when issuing guidance on products.
The move follows a Sunday Express investigation that revealed… eight out of 12 members of the Nice panel which drew up the guidance have financial ties to companies that make statins or the next generation of cholesterol-lowering drugs.”
This is, in some ways, a direct parallel to what is happening within the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Last week, we told you about animal pharmaceutical giant Elanco spearheading a committee meant to teach RDs about farming. There is also the issue of Coca-Cola and General Mills’ Academy-approved “continuing education” webinars, and the links between some high-ranking Academy members to front groups like the International Food Information Council.
If Coca-Cola or Elanco want to deploy public relations strategies that disguise marketing as education, they have every right to do so, but the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics should reconsider co-signing these webinars as opportunities for continuing education.
We especially appreciated this quote from Dr. Kilash Chand of the British Medical Association:
“Nice must be beyond reproach. It should not just be seen to be independent, it must be independent.”
The same, we think, applies to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.