Author of Salt Article has Close Ties to Industry|
Frito-Lay Memo Divulges Industry Strategy
In the current issue of Science, David McCarron, a hypertension researcher at the Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, criticizes the link between salt and high blood pressure. Not fully disclosed, though, are McCarrons extensive ties to the food and salt industries. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), McCarron has:
The internal Frito-Lay memo recommends that the company fund McCarrons proposals on calcium to divert attention from the link between sodium and high blood pressure. We should provide Dr. McCarron with scientific assistance to enhance his credibility, and promote his visibility, it states. The memos author, apparently a Frito-Lay scientist, states that I dont believe proper [calcium] intake can prevent/ameliorate most types of primary hypertension. So even if the Calcium Theory campaign is successful, the [sodium] issue will come back in the long run. He cites scientific defects in McCarrons proposals, but concludes that as far as we can show that proper [calcium] intake does prevent/ameliorate at least certain types of hypertension...our primary goal would be achieved.
McCarrons arguments are filled with half-truths and misleading statements, said Bonnie Liebman, Director of Nutrition at CSPI. The public should know that his work is part of an orchestrated effort by the food and salt industries to discredit the evidence linking salt and hypertension. It is unfortunate that Science chose not to fully reveal McCarrons industry connections.