The Annals of Internal Medicine has been forced to publish a correction to controversial guidelines on red meat consumption after it emerged that the study had received undisclosed funding from an organisation linked to the food industry.
The guidelines, published last October, recommended that adults should continue current consumption of unprocessed red meat and processed meat. The paper has now been amended to disclose that it was funded by a grant from Texas A&M AgriLife Research, a programme that receives considerable funding from the beef industry. The article’s text and conclusions remain unchanged.
The correction also includes the disclosure that a previous study led by the same author, questioning the benefits of limiting sugar consumption, which was also published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, was funded by an organisation representing the food industry and run by a former Coca-Cola executive. The journal also learnt that the manuscript had been reviewed by the funders before being submitted for publication.
In an interview with the BMJ, the president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine said he believed the correction still left serious conflicts hidden.