"If you are wondering why Americans are losing the wars on cancer, heart disease and diabetes, you might look at the funding sources of the major public health groups," Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman write. "Big corporations dump big money into these groups. And pretty soon, the groups start taking the line of the big corporations. Case in point: the American Diabetes Association(ADA). Earlier this month, the ADA cut a deal with candy and soda pop maker Cadbury Schweppes. Here's the deal - Cadbury Schweppes kicks in a couple million dollars to the ADA. In return, the company gets to use the ADA label on its diet drinks - plus the positive publicity generated by the deal. Cadbury makes Dr. Pepper and such nutritious treats as Cadbury's Cream Egg. You would have to have your head buried deeply in the sand to deny that sugar-filled soda is fueling childhood obesity - which in turn in is fueling type 2 diabetes." In an interview with the Corporate Crime Reporter, ADA's Richard Kahn emphasized that the ADA logo would only appear on "products that are better to eat."In its coverage, the Adrants weblog wrote, "While we don't pretend to be a medical expert, we've certainly heard sugar has a little something to do with a disease called Diabetes." This comment generated an interesting debate in the Adrants comments section, about the scientific evidence linking sugar intake to diabetes, and about the propriety of the ADA's decision to accept the money in any case. The PR Watch editorial above is actually careful with its scientific claim. It doesn't just argue sugar --> diabetes, it argues sugar --> obesity --> diabetes. The Adrants comments point out that in this perhaps overly cautious formulation, one could equally argue TV --> obesity --> diabetes. And yet, I'm inclined to agree with both Adrants and PR Watch that it seems unnecessarily mercenary for a public health organization concerned with a malfunction of the body's ability to regulate sugar, for which the scientific facts are not yet settled, to take millions from a soda manufacturer in a deal that implies ADA endorsement of its products.
Sunday, May 22, 2005
Cadbury Schweppes reaches deal with American Diabetes Association
The news summary and editorial from PR Watch:
Posted 7:09 AM