By Polly Curtis, health correspondent
Research into the health benefits of drinks including fizzy pop, juices and milk may be severely biased in favour of food industry funders, American doctors say today. A survey of research on the nutritional value of drinks found that studies funded entirely by food and drink companies were approximately eight times more likely to produce results favourable to their funders, compared with studies which had no industry funding.
The findings threaten to revive the row which started in the pharmaceutical industry about how independent scientists can be when they receive funding from a commercial source. The authors of the review of research conclude: "Industry funding of nutrition-related scientific articles may bias conclusions in favour of sponsors' products, with potentially significant implications for public health."