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Wed Sep 13, 2017, 08:43 PM

Coca-Cola Email Chain Shows Exactly How Food Industry "Science" Works To Deceive Everyone


On February 20, 2015, the day after the release of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s report, IFIC sent an email to its directors, trustees, and staff describing its media outreach call from the morning. The conversation with more than 40 journalists, the email said, included topics like the “conflicting” science behind the recommendation to limit red meat and “insufficient evidence” behind recommendations to reduce added sugar. The group had more than 20 experts who could speak to those “hot-button” issues in the news media, the email said.

The email was then forwarded outside of the organization to Alex Malaspina, a former Coca-Cola executive and the founding president of ILSI. Malaspina, in turn, forwarded it to two current Coke executives, adding that “IFIC is coming through for our industry.” No response from the current executives is included in the released email chain. Malaspina didn’t respond to a request for comment.

The next morning, in an email to Malaspina, Michael Ernest Knowles, a former vice president of Global Scientific and Regulatory Affairs at Coca-Cola and former president of ILSI, went further than media outreach, calling for “the generation of credible consensus science on the issues hitting the industry – obesity and causative factors, sugar, low/no calories sweetener safety – in particular we have to use external organisations in addition to any work we directly commission.” Knowles didn’t respond to a request for comment.

In other words, the industry should not only fund its own studies, a common practice, but also get outside organizations to do that work. The tactic may be working. An ILSI-sponsored review recently appeared in The Annals of Internal Medicine concluding that “guidelines on dietary sugar do not meet criteria for trustworthy recommendations and are based on low-quality evidence.”



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