publication date: Oct. 11, 2019

Scientists spar over COIs, methodology of Annals guideline on red, processed meat

By Matthew Bin Han Ong

The Annals of Internal Medicine has no plans to publish a corrigendum to clarify an appearance of a conflict of interest on the part of Bradley Johnston, the lead author of the journal’s “new guidelines” on unprocessed red meat and processed meat.

Johnston had received funding from the International Life Sciences Institute to conduct a 2016 study on consumption of sugar—which resulted in a similar characterization of existing scientific evidence. ILSI is an industry trade group largely sup­ported by pharmaceutical and food companies, including Cargill, one of the largest beef processors in North America (The Cancer Letter, Oct. 4).

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“There really isn’t anything to correct,” Christine Laine, editor in chief of the Annals said to The Cancer Letter. “If Dr. Johnston had not answered the questions accurately, that we asked, then we would.

“There’s a judgment call about whether he should have mentioned things that are not within the timeframe, but that’s a matter of opinion. It’s not that the information that he provided was incorrect.

“Generally, the [feedback from] people who understand the importance of methodology and guideline development, I think, has been quite favorable.”

A conversation with Laine appears here.

On Sept. 30, the Annals published recommendations stating that adults may continue their current level of red and processed meat consumption—a controversy that ignited a media firestorm, fueled by a conflict of interest subplot that brought the credibility … Continue reading Scientists spar over COIs, methodology of Annals guideline on red, processed meat

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