The study, which has received a plethora of criticism and has been branded an ‘egregious abuse of evidence’ – concludes that red and processed meat isn’t as harmful as previously thought.
‘Conflicts of interest’
It has since been discovered that lead researcher Bradley C. Johnston, who disclosed that during the past three years he didn’t have any ‘conflicts of interest’ to report.
According to the New York Times, as recently as December 2016, Dr. 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.
However, Dr. Johnston’s payment from ILSI was received in 2015 – meaning he wasn’t legally obliged to disclose to financial affiliation and therefore wasn’t required to report it.
‘Stay out of trouble’
Marion Nestle, Professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University said: “Journals require disclosure, and it is always better to disclose fully, if for no other reason than to stay out of trouble when the undisclosed conflicts are exposed
“Behind the scenes, ILSI works diligently on behalf of the food industry; it is a classic front group. Even if ILSI had nothing to do with the meat papers — and there is no evidence of which I am aware that it did — the previous paper suggests that Johnston is making a career of tearing down conventional nutrition wisdom.”
The World Cancer Research Fund does not accept the study’s new interpretation of the evidence either.