271734 Science, Agriculture, Chemicals and Corporate Influence What do we know beyond tobacco?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 : 12:30 PM - 12:47 PM

Lisa Bero, PhD , Department of Clinical Pharmacy, UCSF, San Francisco, CA
Elena O. Lingas, DrPH, MPH , College of Education and Health Sciences, Touro University California, Vallejo, CA
The tobacco industry for decades has used several strategies to generate controversy about the health risks of its products, including: 1) funding and publishing research that supports their interests, 2) suppressing unfavorable research, 3) distorting public discourse about unfavorable research, 4) setting scientific standards that favor industry interests, and 5) disseminating favorable research directly to decision-makers, thereby bypassing usual methods of scientific discourse. Industry lawyers and executives, not scientists, have been in control of the design, conduct and dissemination of this research. We have systematically categorized research manipulation strategies used by four additional industry groups (pharmaceutical, vinyl chloride, lead, and silicosis-producing industries) based upon an analysis of internal corporate documents. The strategies among the industries, including tobacco, are similar. Since the strategies vary little, the potential solutions for safeguarding the integrity of corporate research apply to all of them, as well as others such as food and agribusiness industries. This presentation reviews these potential solutions and puts them in context of opportunities for APHA to support public health.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Environmental health sciences
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe three strategies that are common to corporate industries who want to generate controversy about the health risks of their products; 2. List two potential solutions for minimizing corporate manipulation of research data; and 3. Compare how four different industries have suppressed data in order to minimize health concerns about their products.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been working for a number of years on research related to the policy-influencing strategies employed by the food, tobacco and other industries.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.