Talk about letting the fox guard the hen house! According to Forbes, the mother of conflicts of interest in nutrition has just been approved in Washington DC. A PepsiCo board member, Victor Dzau, has been appointed as the President of the Institute of Medicine.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) is an independent, nonprofit organization. Although it is not a government body, the FDA, CDC, and Department of Health rely on the IOM “to provide unbiased and authoritative advice to decision makers and the public.”
Now, imagine Dzau sitting on this panel and debating the inclusion of sugar content on the front of package. Imagine other obesity related research that requires the work of impartial scientists. Even if Dzau puts up a Chinese Wall between himself and any work that is soft-drink and junk-food related, how will his subordinates feel coming to him with findings contrary to PepsiCo’s business interests?
This is just wrong.