Corporations may want to think twice about hiring industry-friendly professors to publish studies about their products – as Disney recently realized, but too late.
As Sheila Kaplan first reported in STAT News, new emails obtained by U.S. Right to Know reveal that Disney paid friendly professors to study children’s food at its parks, then tried to quash the study after two of the professors ran into a spate of bad press. Sarah Sloat described it this way in Inverse, “Mickey didn’t want to be associated with defamed, Coca-Cola loving researcher James Hill.” Oops.
The emails prompted NYU Professor Marion Nestle to share, “The strange story of my accepted but yet-to-be published commentary on a Disney-sponsored study gets stranger.” Nestle wrote, “The e-mails demonstrate even more forcefully that the Disney study is a good example of why partnering with industry should raise acres of red flags.”
Disney, fearing a scandal, tried to press journal to withdraw research paper – STAT News
Disney Parks Food Study Shows Problem with Corporate Science, Not Hot Dogs – Inverse
The strange story of my accepted but yet-to-be-published commentary on Disney-sponsored study gets stranger – Food Politics
Coca-Cola Funds Scientists who Shift Blame for Obesity Away from Bad Diets – NY Times
Emails Reveal Coke’s Role in Anti-Obesity Group – Associated Press