A study published last year in the Annals of Internal Medicine, which promoted the consumption of red meat, has been slammed for failing to disclose ties with the beef industry.
The journal, which suggests that adults continue current unprocessed red meat consumption and for adults to continue current processed meat consumption, lead to a plethora of news outlets running the headline ‘meat is back on the menu’.
‘Conflicts of interest’
But authors of the study, who formed a group called NutriRECS, allegedly worked with AgriLife Research – a part of Texas A&M University that receives partial funded from the beef industry.
According to The Washington Post, Annals Editor in Chief Christine Laine said: “I’m not aware of any relationship between AgriLife and NutriRECS. Would we retract the paper? No. A lot of the drug trials have industry funding. Conflicts of interest is just one potential source of bias.”
It was also revealed that lead researcher Bradley C. Johnston was the senior author on a study which was paid for by food industry giant International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI), who are ‘largely supported’ by companies such as McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Mars, and Cargill – one of North America’s biggest beef processors.
The study had also been criticized by many experts who advocate a plant-based diet, including Walter Willett, Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health.
“This report has layers of flaws and is the most egregious abuse of evidence that I have ever seen,” he said.