Dr. Marion Nestle has written a terrific op-ed, titled “Corporate Funding of Food and Nutrition Research: Science of Marketing?”, for the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine.
- “Although most journals now require authors to disclose who pays for their work, disclosure—even done diligently—is not sufficient to alert readers to the extent to which industry funding influences research results and professional opinion. As is well established from experimental and observational research,drug company gifts and grants can have substantial effects. To recipients, however, these effects are almost always unconscious, unintentional, and unrecognized, making them especially difficult to prevent.”
- “Food companies, such as Quaker Oats, used to support basic research conducted by in-house scientists, but Unilever and Nestlé (no relation) are among the very few companies that continue to do so. Instead, food companies outsource research, much of which can appear as designed for marketing purposes.”
- “Although the investment by federal agencies in food and nutrition research has increased steadily since the early 1990s, US Department of Agriculture grants are diminishing, and the National Institutes of Health are funding fewer researchers at state agricultural colleges. Investigators have a hard time obtaining grants for projects related to food composition, food technology, nutrients,and nutrient metabolism as federal agencies have understandably shifted priorities toward research on obesity, genetics, and chronic diseases.”