Concerns about the cozy ties between industry and health organizations are global.
Our dietitian colleagues in Spain (who, last year, created their own version of DFPI named “Dietetica Sin Patrocinadores,” or “Dietetics Without Sponsors”) have alerted us to a new report by Spanish non-profit VSF Global Food Justice.
Titled “Confide en Mí” (“Trust in Me”) the report examines how food and beverage companies have embedded themselves into health organizations.
The British Medical Journal has more details. Highlights:
- “The Institute of Studies on Sugar and Beet (IEDAR), created in collaboration with sugar manufacturers, has received grants from the government while claiming “insufficient evidence” to link sugar consumption to cardiovascular disease, obesity, or diabetes.”
- “Artiach (Adam Foods), the manufacturer of Dinosaurs — dinosaur-shaped biscuits containing 21% sugar and 19% fat — sponsors the Spanish Association of Pediatrics (AEP). Pediatricians can request free samples of the biscuits online. The AEP has stated “there are no good or bad foods… biscuits, like other forms of cereals, are good tools toward a varied and healthy diet.”
- “Coca-Cola has organized the National Congress on Hydration in association with several universities, research centers, and medical societies such as the Spanish Society of Primary Care Physicians (SEMERGEN) an the Spanish Society of Family and Community Medicine (SEMFYC). The Madrid Declaration of the congress’s scientific committee stated that “besides water is recommends drinking liquids and beverages of different flavors including caloric and non-caloric soft drinks, because their consumption is easier and more pleasant.”
- “The report also highlighted that a former director of the Spanish Agency for Consumer Affairs, Food Safety and Nutrition (AECOSAN) — under the Ministry of Health, Social Services, and Equality — was previously director of scientific and regulatory issues for Coca-Cola Spain.”