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Funding Food Science and Nutrition Research: Financial Conflicts and Scientific Integrity

Rowe, Sylvia MAT; Alexander, Nick BA, PhD; Clydesdale, Fergus M. PhD; Applebaum, Rhona S. PhD; Atkinson, Stephanie PhD; Black, Richard M. PhD; Dwyer, Johanna T. DSc, RD; Hentges, Eric PhD; Higley, Nancy A. PhD; Lefevre, Michael PhD; Lupton, Joanne R. PhD; Miller, Sanford A. PhD; Tancredi, Doris L. PhD; Weaver, Connie M. PhD; Woteki, Catherine E. PhD; Wedral, Elaine PhDThe International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) North America Working Group on Guiding Principles

doi: 10.1097/NT.0b013e3181a4b304
Nutrition Communication

There has been significant public debate about the susceptibility of research to biases of various kinds. The dialogue has extended to the peer-reviewed literature, scientific conferences, the mass media, government advisory bodies, and beyond. Although biases can come from myriad sources, the overwhelming focus of the discussion, to date, has been on industry-funded science. Given the critical role that the industry has played and will continue to play in the research process, the International Life Sciences Institute North America Working Group on Guiding Principles has, in this article, set out proposed conflict-of-interest guidelines regarding industry funding for protecting the integrity and credibility of the scientific record, particularly with respect to health, nutrition, and food-safety science. Eight principles are enumerated, specifying ground rules for industry-sponsored research. The article, which issues a challenge to the broader scientific community to address all bias issues, is only a first step; the document is intended to be dynamic, prompting ongoing discussion and refinement

Nutrition and food scientists agree on funding standards to ensure scientific integrity

Sylvia Rowe, MAT, is from SR Strategy LLC, Washington, District of Columbia.

Nick Alexander, BA, is from SR Strategy LLC, Washington, District of Columbia.

Fergus M. Clydesdale, PhD, is from Food Science Policy Alliance at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Rhona S. Applebaum, PhD, is from Global Scientific and Regulatory Affairs at The Coca-Cola Company, Atlanta, Georgia.

Stephanie Atkinson, PhD, is from the Department of Pediatrics at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Richard M. Black, PhD, is from Kraft Foods Global, Inc, Glenview, Illinois.

Johanna T. Dwyer, DSc, RD, is from the Frances Stern Nutrition Center and Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and Tufts Medical School at New England Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts.

Eric Hentges, PhD, is from ILSI North America, Washington, District of Columbia.

Nancy A. Higley, PhD, is from Scientific & Regulatory Affairs at PepsiCo Inc, Valhalla, New York.

Michael Lefevre, PhD, is from the Center for Advanced Nutrition at Utah State University, Logan, Utah.

Joanne R. Lupton, PhD, is from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Department of Nutrition and Food Science, at Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas.

Sanford A. Miller, PhD, is from the Nutrition and Agriculture Policy at University of Maryland Center for Food, College Park, Maryland.

Doris L. Tancredi, PhD, is from Science and Technology at Cadbury Adams USA LLC, Whippany, New Jersey.

Connie M. Weaver, PhD, is from the Department of Foods and Nutrition at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana.

Catherine E. Woteki, PhD, is from Mars, Inc, McLean, Virginia.

Elaine Wedral, PhD, is from ILSI North America, Washington, District of Columbia.

This article is the product of a working group on conflict of interest/scientific integrity organized by the North American branch of the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI North America). It was supported in part by educational grants from Cadbury Adams USA, LLC; the Coca-Cola Company; ConAgra Foods Inc; General Mills; Kraft Foods; Mars Snackfoods US, LLC; PepsiCo Inc; Procter & Gamble; Sara Lee; and Tate & Lyle.

With branches around the world, ILSI North America is a public, nonprofit, scientific foundation that provides a forum to advance the understanding of scientific issues related to the nutritional quality and safety of the food supply. The mission of ILSI North America is carried out through sponsorship of relevant research programs, professional education programs and workshops, seminars, and publications, as well as through provision of a neutral forum for government, academic, and industry scientists to discuss and resolve scientific issues of common concern for the well-being of the general public. The programs of ILSI North America are supported primarily by the ILSI North America industry membership. For more information about the working group or ILSI North America, call Heather Steele at 202-659-0074 or send an e-mail to

This article underwent independent scientific review by more than 25 reviewers. Authors Sylvia Rowe and Nick Alexander served as consultants to this project and received funds from ILSI North America for their work on this article.

This article is being published simultaneously (in full or in part) in Nutrition Reviews. 2009;67(5):264-272; the Journal of the American Dietetic Association (JADA); the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN); the Journal of Nutrition; and the Journal of Food Science.

Copies: This document is available on the Web site of Nutrition Reviews ( For copies of this document, please contact

Permissions: Copyright by The International Life Sciences Institute.

Permission requests should be directed to Wiley-Blackwell (Nutrition Reviews). Information can be found at (

Corresponding author: Eric Hentges, PhD, ILSI North America, Suite 200, 1156 Fifteenth St NW, Washington, DC 20005-1743 (

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.