Thursday, November 15, 2012

From nutrition scientists "on behalf of Corn Refiners Association"

Here is a newsletter I received today from an email account labeled oddly: "ASN on behalf of Corn Refiners Association."

Follow the link for the full web version of the email.

The ASN is of course the American Society for Nutrition.  "Experimental Biology 2012" is the most important annual meeting for nutrition scientists.

The tiny footer to the email's web page says:
This email is a paid advertisement sent by ASN on behalf of Corn Refiners Association. ASN occasionally promotes to its members the efforts of other organizations promoting products, services or events that advance ASN's mission: excellence in nutrition research and practice. ASN never releases members' email addresses to any third party. 
While this footer to the email discloses the advertisement, the newsletter's .pdf file from the link does not mention that it is an advertisement.  Clearly, the whole package is designed to look like a newsletter from a scientific association.  In the gentlest way, the newsletter defends fructose and corn sweeteners from criticism.

Does this type of advertisement cost the scientific association much in terms of independent authority and reputation?

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