AND Facts

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  • FACT: The ADA AND is under investigation by Congress. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), has asked the ADA and other health advocacy groups for a listing of their payments from the pharmaceutical, medical device, and insurance industries. Due to the ADA’s lack of financial transparency, the senator’s investigation into the ADA is ongoing. Sources: Propublica,  Senator Grassley’s letter (May 4, 2011) to ADA CEO, Patricia M. Babjak noting “no additional information regarding your organization’s industry funding has been posted on the ADA’s website.”
  • FACT: The AND receives about $1 million a year in payments from the pharmaceutical industry. Because of Sen. Grassley’s investigation, the ADA disclosed their payments from the pharmaceutical, medical device and insurance industries. Source
  • FACT: The AND receives payments from Coca-Cola, Hershey, the National Dairy Council, Mars, PepsiCo, and others. The ADA won’t say exactly how much they receive from these companies and industry associations. Source
  • FACT: The credentialing arm of the AND, the Commission on Dietetic Registration, offers continuing professional courses sponsored by Coca-Cola. Source
  • FACT: The AND allowed the junk food company–sponsored “Smart Choices” food labeling program (now considered a failure and an embarrassment) to be introduced at their Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo. Sources: NY Times USA Today
  • FACT: The AND allows pharmaceutical companies to market their controversial products at AND events. At the 2007 ADA Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo, GlaxoSmithKline was allowed to promote their first over-the-counter diet pill, Alli, even though the drug’s weight loss effectiveness is minimal and side effects such as hard-to-control bowel movements and anal discharge are common. The FDA has since issued warnings to Alli, noting the possibly of severe liver damage, and consumer groups are asking the FDA to remove Alli from the market. Source
  • FACT: National conferences harshly criticized by nutrition leaders and media. The ADA’s recent Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo has been lambasted by media and nutrition leaders as a “corporate takeover by Big Food.”
  • “Is the American Dietetic Association Attempting to Limit Market Competition in Nutrition Counseling?” Forbes.com (2012) Michael Ellsberg.
  • “Pesticides Are Good for You, Big Food’s Co-optation of Nutrition Professionals.” Food Safety News.com (2011) Michele Simon.
  • “Big Food exerts unhealthy influence on America’s nutritionists.”
    Grist.org (2011) Clare Leschin-Hoar.
  • “OK. Time to talk about the American Dietetic Association’s alliances with food companies.” Food Politics (2008) Marion Nestle.
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