Last March, Dr. Marion Nestle began sharing the results of industry-sponsored studies, five at a time, on her Food Politics blog.
Today, she shares the latest compilation, which brings the total to 95 industry-funded studies with conclusions that favor the sponsor and 9 that do not.
Today’s post, however, also adds thought-provoking questions that relate to issues of conflicts of interest in research.
- “Does providing study products introduce conflicts of interest?”
- “Does [this study] mean that the investigators decided what they wanted to study and then asked Dairy Management Inc for funding, knowing that Dairy Management would have congruent interests? Does something like this increase confidence in the results?”
- “Does recruiting a third party to audit data increase confidence in the credibility of this study? Isn’t it more relevant to ask about how the research question is framed?”
These are important questions that must be kept in mind, especially since industry-funded studies are often used as reference for industry-sponsored continuing education opportunities.