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Thursday 12 February 2015

Prof Susan Jebb and the "Dracula is now in charge of the blood bank" story.

A row has erupted about links between the sugar industry and scientists who advise government on obesity.
Campaigners argue the scientists are so heavily influenced by companies that Dracula is now "in charge of the blood bank".
Those implicated say it is wrong to assume they are biased and say critics should "learn some proper science".
Public Health England said it welcomed industry "listening to our best scientists".
The argument erupted from a report on the issue in the British Medical Journal.
It claims Prof Susan Jebb - the government's obesity tsar, a University of Oxford academic and an expert in a recent three-part BBC documentary series on obesity - has attracted more than £1.3m of industry funding.
This includes money from Coca-Cola, Unilever and Cereal Partners.
It went on to show that members of a government advisory panel - the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) - were equally supported by companies such as PepsiCo, Mars and Nestle.
It said that of the 40 scientists affiliated with SACN between 2001 and 2012, just 13 had no connections to the sugar industry.
Prof Simon Capewell, from the University of Liverpool and an adviser for the group Action on Sugar, told the BBC: "I was shocked, quite honestly; this is heart-breaking news and basically it appears a lot of people have been seriously misled."
He said there would be an "inherent conflict of interest" between profits and public health.
"It's like putting Dracula in charge of the blood bank," he concluded.
More on this new BBC story here.

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