Deception from The BMJ

On 24th September 2015, BMJ issued a press release titled “BMJ investigation questions expert advice underpinning new US dietary guidelines[1] The press release stated:

The expert report underpinning the latest dietary guidelines for Americans fails to reflect much relevant scientific literature in its reviews of crucial topics and therefore risks giving a misleading picture, an investigation by The BMJ has found.

The press release failed to mention that nature of the BMJ investigation, the name of the expert report or the name of the committee that produced the report. The expert report is the “Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee” [2].

The “BMJ investigation” was an article written by Nina Teicholz in response to the above report. It was not a BMJ investigation. Why is The BMJ press release stating that they, The BMJ, performed an investigation when it is clear that this is not the case?

At the end of the article in The BMJ, written by Teicholz, it clearly states:

This article was fully funded with a grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation (www.arnoldfoundation.org). The analysis was conducted independently, and the report reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the foundation.

I contacted The BMJ and received the following response on 29 June 2017 at 20:04.

The editorial team have advised that this article was fully funded with a grant from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. Therefore, BMJ would have used the grant to cover all expenses for this publication.

The Laura and John Arnold Foundation provided the seed funding for NuSI, the organisation founded by Gary Taubes and Peter Attia to promote low-carbohydrate nutritional science. [3]

Footnotes

  1. BMJ (2015) BMJ investigation questions expert advice underpinning new US dietary guidelines. BMJ. Press Release (24 Sep 2015) [online]. Available from: http://www.bmj.com/company/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/US-dietary-guidelines.pdf.
  2. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (n.d.) Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. [online]. Available from: https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015-scientific-report/.[online].
  3. Taubes, G. (2012) The Launch of The Nutrition Science Initiative [online]. Available from: http://garytaubes.com/the-launch-of-the-nutrition-science-initiative/ (Accessed 26 June 2017).

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