Jesse Hirsch, The New Food Economy, July 11, 2017
Many consumers know to be wary of industry-sponsored scientific research (toxic sludge is not, in fact, good for you). Industries with controversial product lines often cherry-pick friendly scientists—and pay them handsomely—to dredge up data that reflects well on the product. For instance, in the ‘60s, the sugar industry funded a sketchy study that indicated fat—not sweets—was the real public health scourge (echoes of the Eat Mor Chikin ad campaign).
It gets stickier, however, when those studies are used as levers to affect public policy. The Coca Cola company, long a funder of this kind of dubious research (e.g., diet soda is better than water!), was just found to be pushing their results on the federal government. A public records request from U.S. Right to Know revealed a cache of emails between Coke reps, scientists, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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