domingo, agosto 24, 2008

What to eat

What to Eat

Marion Nestle


This is a link to nutritionist Marion Nestle's blog. I first met her when she visited Puerto Rico with her NYU students in 2004, and have remained in touch ever since. Her books on nutrition, which cover everything from nutrition politics to biotechnology, are extremely useful.

Industry funding has no effect on research quality!

August 20, 2008

I love the way sponsored science works. We now have data claiming that there is no difference in the quality of controlled clinical weight loss trials whether they are funded by industry or independently. The senior author on this comparative study is the very same person who was relieved of his responsibilities as head of a national obesity society because he wrote a letter opposing calorie labeling without disclosing that he was paid to do it (see previous post on this topic). NIH paid for this study in part (the other parts aren’t attributed). For this study, as the paper says, “Ethical approval is not required.”

GM foods: the solution to world hunger?

Proponents of genetically modified foods as the solution to the world food crisis have been busy. Dennis Avery of the Hudson Institute blames Prince Charles for the crisis because of the Prince’ distaste for GM foods. In a quotation dear to my heart, he asks: “How would the future king tell the cat and dog owners of Britain that, because of his anti-science elitism, pet food sales must be banned so people could eat?” So without GM foods, we won’t have by-products of human food production to feed to pets? And then today’s Science Times interviews Dr. Nina Federoff, science advisor to Condoleeza Rice. She says all foods are GM anyway. Without them, we will have to destroy the world’s forests. And heaven help us if we rely on organics: “If everybody switched to organic farming, we couldn’t support the world’s population–maybe half.” Why do I think there are some logical pieces missing here? Maybe because the Hudson Institute is not exactly free of corporate influence? Or Dr. Federoff really is, as the interview suggests indirectly, the “ambassador from Monsanto?”