Earlier this week, we told you about Coca-Cola’s new “commitment to transparency,” which included a list of health professionals and scientific experts with whom it regularly collaborates and consults, as well as programs, grants, initiatives, and campaigns it has funded/funds.
“Beneficiaries included a number of medical and health groups, including $3.1 million to the American College of Cardiology, more than $3.5 million to the American Academy of Family Physicians, nearly $3 million to the American Academy of Pediatrics, $2 million to the American Cancer Society and roughly $1.7 million to the country’s largest organization of dietitians, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics,” the New York Times reported Tuesday.
Dr. Yoni Freedhoff of the University of Ottawa asks:
“Why in this day and age would a public health organization create even the possibility for there to be influence that might affect their ability to champion and promote public health?”
We agree. As we have mentioned in the past, *perceived* conflicts of interest are problematic in their own right, as they negatively impact our profession’s reputation and standing in the eyes of the public and other health professionals.