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Concerns about conflicts of interest in commercially funded research have generated increasing disclosure requirements, but are these enough to assess influence?
Using the Coca-Cola Company as an example, we explore its research agreements to understand influence.
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We recommend journals supplement funding disclosures and conflict-of-interest statements by requiring authors to attach funder agreements.
In the wake of criticisms about a lack of transparency of financial support for medical and scientific research, several multinational corporations (MNCs) recently committed to publishing relevant information on the scale and nature of their investments in research, publishing lists of projects they fund and developing principles to apply to their relationship with researchers.We look both at the legal (or A non-profit consumer and public health research group in the United States, U. Right to Know (USRTK), based in Oakland, California, investigates the food and agrichemical industries, examining their public relations, political and lobbying campaigns, as well as the health risks associated with their products , between 20, USRTK sent 129 FOI requests to United States (US), Australian, British, Canadian and Danish public bodies related to Coca-Cola’s links with public health actors, including academics.USRTK selected the higher education institutions because they were governed by FOI laws (that exist in many jurisdictions around the world to encourage openness and transparency by public bodies, including at the state and federal level in the US, as well as in Australia, Britain, Canada and Denmark where USRTK also sent requests), or because USRTK identified these institutions as having received funding from Coca-Cola through its recent public disclosures .So how can these pieces of information be reconciled?Does Coca-Cola really uphold its public commitments on research funding?Inevitably, the sample has potential limitations to its external validity.First, the sample is not comprehensive, as redactions and removal of some emails from the batch are allowed in line with certain legislative exemptions, and it is impossible to ascertain whether FOI responses form a complete sample of communications and other contractual documents between Coca-Cola and associated researchers.Provisions gave Coca-Cola the right to review research in advance of publication as well as control over (1) study data, (2) disclosure of results and (3) acknowledgement of Coca-Cola funding.Some agreements specified that Coca-Cola has the ultimate decision about any publication of peer-reviewed papers prior to its approval of the researchers’ final report.After many years of successfully serving the needs of our customers, High Beam Research has been retired.Because High Beam Research has closed down we have taken you to our sister website Questia, an award-winning Cengage Learning product.