Industry sponsorship of health organizations

This page features documentation of industry sponsorship of health and nutrition organizations. In time, the page will include all major health organizations in the English-speaking world, in alphabetical order, along with their corporate funding and an interpretation of how the listed financial incentives might influence organization commitments.

This page is constantly being updated. Upcoming glosses (soon) will cover the American Diabetes Association and the American Society of Nutrition.

Comprehensive introductory discussion on the scientific-political relevance of below-listed financial conflicts of health organizations coming soon.

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics / Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Diabetes Association
American Heart Association
American Society of Nutrition
Dietitians Association of Australia
International Food Information Council Foundation

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics / Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation
Certifies Registered Dietitians (RD) in the United States
$4.6-8.2 mil/year from corporate sponsors (2011) (click here to see how this was calculated)
Abbott NutritionAjinomotoAramark, Biothera, Cargill, California Strawberry Commission, Cambro Mfg. Co., Campbell Soup Company, Chobani, The Coca-Cola Company, Colgate Palmolive Company, Commission on Dietetic Registration, ConAgra Foods, Corn Refiner’s Association, CoroWise (Cargill), The Dannon Company, Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, Elanco, General Mills, Jean Hankin, Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, Hershey’s, Hormel, Iowa Department of Education, Kellogg Company, Kraft Foods, Mars Inc., McCormick, McNeil Nutritionals, Mead Johnson, Monsanto, National Cattlemen’s Beef AssociationNational Dairy Council, Nature Made, Nestlé, New Jersey Dietetic Association, NEWtritious, Novo NordiskPepsiCo, Safeway, SOYJOYTruviaUnilever, Walmart Stores, Inc., Alice Wimpfheimer.1

Interpretation: Because of the long list of corporations that primarily sell processed foods, the AND, despite its declared mission to “improve the public’s health and nutrition”, has a strong financial incentive to promote processed and convenience food products and candy through its educational, accreditation, and advocacy commitments. This is supported by 1. opposition of AND to trans-fat labeling in 1999, contrary to strong scientific evidence earlier that decade (but in agreement with sponsor interests); 2. publications and ambiguous (non-)policy on added sugars and processed carbohydrates, contrary to strong scientific evidence (but in agreement with sponsor interests); 3. nutritional concepts promoted by AND–e.g. the importance of calories and calorie counting over against food quality–against the scientific evidence (but in agreement with sponsor interests); 4. prominent processed food industry presence at annual meetings; 5. open processed food industry sponsorship of educational speakers at annual meetings. See interpretation documentation here.

 

American Heart Association
Issues standard-of-care guidelines in the United States; publications influence dietary guidelines
$158 mil/year from corporate sponsors (2014) (click here to see how this was calculated)
Food, agriculture, & convenience food retail – ACH Food Companies Inc., ADM, Aramark, Archer Daniels Midland Company, Campbell’s Soup, ConAgra Foods, Frito-Lay, Jenny Craig, Kellogg’s, Ocean Spray, Quaker Oats, Rite Aid, Safeway Foundation, Strouds, Subway, Super Valu Inc., Walgreens, Walmart, The Walmart Foundation.
Healthcare-Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Kaiser Permanente and Kaiser Permanente Foundation, Laerdal Medical Corp, Lakeside Women’s Hospital, Memorial Hermann Healthcare System, Mercy Health Partners–Cincinnati, Methodist Hospital–Houston, St. Jude Medical Foundation, Sutter Heart & Vascular Institute, Sutter Medical Center–Sacramento, Texas Children’s Hospital–The Woodlands.
Health insurance-Aetna, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, United Healthcare, WellPoint Foundation.
Pharmaceuticals & medical devices-Allergan, Inc., Amgen, AstraZeneca, Bayer Consumer Care, Bayer HealthCare, BMS/Pfizer, BMS/Sanofi, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly & Company, Genentech, GlaxoSmithKline, King Pharmaceuticals, Medtronic Inc., Merck, Merck & Company, Inc., Novartis, Pfizer, The Pfizer Foundation, Sanofi, Takeda, Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Wyeth-Ayerst Pharmaceuticals.
Unknown-Anonymous (3).2 3

Interpretation:


Dietitians Association of Australia
Certifies Accredited Practicing Dietitians (APD) in Australia
$0.5-1.5 mil/year from corporate sponsors (2014) (click here to see how this was calculated)
Australian Healthy Food Guide Magazine, AIA Australia, Australian Breakfast Cereal Manufacturers Forum4Almond Board of Australia, Australian AvocadosCampbell Arnott’s, Cobram Estate, Egg Nutrition Council, Grains & Legumes Nutrition Council, Guild Insurance, Jalna Dairy Foods Pty LtdMeat & Livestock AustraliaNestlé Australia, Nutricia Advanced Medical Nutrition5

Interpretation: The mission of the DAA is “leadership in dietetics, food and nutrition for healthier people and healthier nations.6 However, given 1. the high proportion of funding from the food industry industry (up to 37%); 2. its known promotion of processed food products (Nestlé, Ramen-like noodle products, etc.); 3. endorsement of dietitians working in industry and attempting to cast doubt on the research showing negative health consequences of processed food, it is reasonable to conclude that DAA’s conflicts of interests probably influence its advocacy, educational, and policy commitments. See interpretation documentation here.

International Food Information Council Foundation
Publishes nutrition and marketing research
$1.15 mil/year from corporate sponsors (100% of revenue) (2015)
 (click here to see how this was calculated)
Abbott Nutrition, Ajinomoto North America, Inc., Archer Daniels Midland Company, Atkins Nutritionals, Inc., Bayer CropScience LP, Cargill, Incorporated, The Coca-Cola Company, Compass Group, The Dannon Company, Inc., Dow AgroSciences, LLC, DuPont, Elanco, Ferrero USA, General Mills, Inc., The Hershey Company, Hillshire Brands Company, The J.M. Smucker Company, J.R. Simplot Company, Kellogg, Kraft Foods, Mars, Incorporated, McCormick & Company, Inc., McDonald’s Corporation, McNeil Nutritionals, Mead Johnson Nutrition, Mondelēz International, Monsanto Company, Nestlé, PepsiCo, Red Bull North America, StarKist, Yum! Brands, Zoetis7

Interpretation:

  1.  Bolded are the most long-standing and/or highest contributing sponsors of 2012. The above is only a partial list, parsed from the reference, below; the AND have not yet responded to requests for a full disclosure of corporate funding sources. See Michele Simon, And Now A Word From Our Sponsors: Are America’s Nutrition Professionals in the Pocket of Big Food?, January 2013, 39, http://www.eatdrinkpolitics.com/wp-content/uploads/AND_Corporate_Sponsorship_Report.pdf.
  2. The above sources are only a small sample. These were non-systematically parsed from the 2013-2014 Annual Report of the American Heart Association. See American Heart Association / American Stroke Association, Annual Report 2013-2014, 2014, https://www.heart.org/idc/groups/heart-public/@wcm/@cmc/documents/downloadable/ucm_469976.pdf, 19.
  3. In the 2014-2015 report, the AHA stopped reporting names of corporate contributors. See American Heart Association / American Stroke Association, Annual Report 2014-2015, 2015, http://www.heart.org/idc/groups/heart-public/@wcm/@cmc/documents/downloadable/ucm_479854.pdf. Nonetheless, in 2015, the American Heart Association did provide a truncated list of sponsors, touting “the extraordinary generosity of some of the organizations that have contributed significantly to our mission to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.” These organizations are bolded above. Ibid., 28.
  4. Australian Breakfast Cereal Manufacturers Forum (ABCMF) consists of “Australia’s leading breakfast cereal manufacturers”: “Carman’s Fine Foods, Freedom Foods, Kellogg Australia, Nestlé Australia, Popina Foods and Sanitarium. These ABCMF members produce approximately 80 per cent of the breakfast cereal purchased in Australia.” See Australia Breakfast Cereal Manufacturers Forum, “A new chapter for breakfast cereals,” http://www.cereal4brekkie.org.au/a-new-chapter-for-breakfast-cereals/
  5. Bolded are “Major Partners,” according to DAA. What this means is not clear. See Dietitian’s Association of Australia, “Partners,” http://daa.asn.au/advertising-corporate-partners/program-partners/.
  6. Dietetics Association of Australia, “Dietetics Association of Australia > For the Public > About DAA,” http://daa.asn.au/for-the-public/about-daa/.
  7. http://www.foodinsight.org/sites/default/files/Partners%20and%20Supporters%20List%201%2014.pdf
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