What are Coca-Cola and PepsiCo doing to fight off the challenge that their products are unhealthy?
According to last month’s British Medical Journal the big food companies being allowed to monopolise the funding of most nutritional research. This leads to big conflicts of interest for the scientists and can effectively lead to a softening of the impact of collective research (and by that I mean that Big-Food will choose the scientists they want and act to restrict future funding to anyone who publishes negative findings). And being in the driving seat also enables them to create an illusion of self-regulation.
The closer we look at the way that sugar industry is run the more we can tell that they already know that the future looks bad and they are already preparing for it.
It’s only money that drives the truth into the open. Each year Coca-cola (and no doubt the rest of them) have to produce a market risk analysis for their investors, and it openly declares that they live in fear of two things: that research that will show that their products are unhealthy and that governments will legislate against them or tax their unhealthy products.
So is it any surprise that the food industry want to be so closely involved in the researching and policing of nutrition?
And so my faith in scientists and their research takes another battering. These days I am far more impressed by a doctor who says “Look, my patients are getting better when they try this diet” than I am by the words of a scientist who sits on the board of a panel funded by Coca-Cola.