Research interactions between academia and food companies: how to improve transparency and credibility of an inevitable liaison

Poli A, Marangoni F, Agostoni CV, Brancati F, Capurso L, Colombo ML, Ghiselli A, La Vecchia C, Molinari E, Morelli L, Porrini M, Visioli F, Riccardi G.
Eur J Nutr. 2018 Apr;57(3):1269-1273

 

Interactions between academia and food companies have been increasing, in recent years, in terms of quantity and complexity. Food companies seek the advice of academic institutions or experts from universities and research centers either to better understand the potential health effects of their products or to set up research projects. They also often ask experts to present—to colleagues or to the general population— information on specific foods, diets, nutrients, also to influence their nutritional habits and choices.
In this letter, we analyze possible advantages and disadvantages of such interaction, namely sponsored research and sponsored nutritional communication, also in view of the consolidated tendency, by national and international funding bodies, to specifically promote research projects involving both academia and industry; we also try to identify simple criteria aimed at preventing the generation or the diffusion of incorrect information.

 

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