I am a long-standing member of the American Society of Nutrition (ASN), and have been troubled for years by its cozy financial relationships with food companies (see, for example, this post from 2009 and the response from ASN).
ASN’s members are nutrition researchers. The Society publishes the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the Journal of Nutrition, and Advances in Nutrition, sources of many of the industry-funded research articles I post regularly on this site.
ASN’s financial ties to food companies were the subject of an investigative report by Michele Simon last year: “Nutrition Scientists on the Take from Big Food: Has the American Society for Nutrition Lost All Credibility?”
I am delighted to report that the ASN has now responded to these concerns, and in an especially constructive way.
The Society has just announced appointment of an Advisory Committee on Trust in Nutrition Science.
The Advisory Committee is charged with identifying best practices to allow effective collaborations while ensuring that ASN’s activities are transparent, advance research, and maintain scientific rigor; engendering trust among all nutrition science stakeholders…“Maintaining trust among all constituencies and stakeholders is paramount in ensuring that ASN and its membership are effective in carrying out ASN’s mission, to develop and extend the knowledge of nutrition through fundamental, multidisciplinary, and clinical research.” said ASN President Dr. Patrick Stover.
I’m even more delighted by the membership of this truly distinguished committee. Whatever this group decides ought to carry a lot of weight.
Here’s the committee:
- Cutberto Garza, MD, PhD, University Professor, Boston College, (Chair)
- Vinita Bali, Chair, Board of Directors, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition
- Catherine Bertini, Professor of Public Administration and International Affairs, Syracuse University
- Eric Campbell, PhD, Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
- Edward Cooney, JD, Former Executive Director, Congressional Hunger Center
- Michael McGinnis, MD, Executive Officer, National Academy of Medicine
- Sylvia Rowe, President, SR Strategy, LLC
- Robert Steinbrook, MD, Professor Adjunct, Internal Medicine, Yale School of Medicine
- Carol Tucker-Foreman, Distinguished Fellow, Consumer Federation of America Food Policy Institute
- Catherine Woteki, PhD, Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics, US Department of Agriculture
- Patrick Stover, PhD, President, American Society for Nutrition (ex-officio member)
- John Courtney, PhD, Executive Officer, American Society for Nutrition (ex-officio member)
The group is expected to complete its work within a year. I eagerly await its report.