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Controversial red meat study adds correction over undisclosed industry funding

BMJ 2020; 368 doi: (Published 10 January 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;368:m111
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. Montreal

A dietary guideline published in the Annals of Internal Medicine that contradicted years of public health advice by finding no significant benefit to individuals’ health in reducing red meat consumption has been corrected after the journal’s editor was notified of undisclosed industry funding received by the lead author.12

The recommendations, published last October, drew criticism3 because the lead author, Bradley Johnston, had authored a 2016 guideline, also published in Annals,4 that questioned the benefits of limiting sugar intake. That study was funded by the International Life Sciences Institute, a body founded by a former Coca-Cola executive and viewed in some quarters as an industry group.5 The sugar study also had its disclosures corrected after publication, when the journal learnt that the institute had reviewed the manuscript, contrary to the authors’ initial declarations.

Johnston and the Annals’ editor in chief, Christine Laine, argued that there was no obligation to report the institute’s …

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