I received a press release announcing a June conference to be held by the Institute for the Advancement of Food and Nutrition Sciences.
I had never heard of it. It says it “is a non-profit organization that catalyzes science for the benefit of public health” and that it “drives, funds, and leads actionable research and elevates food safety and nutritional sciences—all with the ultimate goal of advancing public health.”
That seemed pleasant, if vague, but I was still puzzled. Nothing on the Institute’s website helped.
This took some digging, but I soon found a news release announcing its formation in February 2021: Leading Scientists Launch Institute for the Advancement of Food and Nutrition Sciences to Promote Collaborative Research:
Today marks the establishment of the Institute for the Advancement of Food and Nutrition Sciences (IAFNS), a 501(c)(3) organization focused on catalyzing science for the benefit of public health.
Previously known as the International Life Sciences Institute, North America, IAFNS is building on a proud heritage with a focus on actionable science that promotes nutrition, food safety and public health.
Aha! ILSI, The classic industry front group.
ILSI, you may recall, was formed by Coca-Cola.
Within the last few years, lots of articles have appeared describing its lobbying efforts on behalf of the food industry. Some of these were so blatant that Mars withdrew from in in 2018 and Coca-Cola withdrew in 2021.
I’ve written about ILSI often over the years. See, for example, this post about IlSI’s effort in China. Or see this article about scientific integrity (or the lack thereof).
Could all the bad press have anything to do with the name change?
A leopard cannot change its spots, alas.