Cornucopia’s Take: It’s become an all too common practice for industries to fund science seeking results that they want. According to documents found in a Harvard library’s basement, big sugar has been doing this since the 1960s. We are seeing this happen with the carrageenan industry and regulation today. Independent research is crucial to public health.
How the sugar industry artificially sweetened Harvard research
by Melissa Bailey, Stat
As nutrition debates raged in the 1960s, prominent Harvard nutritionists published two reviews in a top medical journal downplaying the role of sugar in coronary heart disease. Newly unearthed documents reveal what they didn’t say: A sugar industry trade group initiated and paid for the studies, examined drafts, and laid out a clear objective to protect sugar’s reputation in the public eye.
That revelation, published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine, comes from Dr. Cristin Kearns at the University of California, San Francisco, a dentist-turned-researcher who found the sugar industry’s fingerprints while digging through boxes of letters in the basement of a Harvard library.
Her paper recounts how two famous Harvard nutritionists, Dr. Fredrick Stare and Mark Hegsted, who are now deceased, worked closely with a trade group called the Sugar Research Foundation, which was trying to influence public understanding of sugar’s role in disease.