Transcript: Battling Bias in Nutrition Research | Mar 05, 2019

Nam sits in the studio. She's in her early forties, with shoulder length curly brown hair. She's wearing glasses and a gray blazer over a pink blouse.

A caption on screen reads "Battling bias in nutrition research. Nam Kiwanuka, @namshine, @theagenda."

Nam says IS CHOCOLATE GOOD FOR YOU?
IS COFFEE BAD FOR YOU?
WE'VE ALL PROBABLY SEEN THE
HEADLINES PROCLAIMING A NEW
SUPER FOOD OR A NEW DIET.
ALL WELL AND GOOD, BUT IT SHOULD
ALSO GIVE YOU PAUSE, SAYS NUTRITION EXPERT AND AUTHOR MARION NESTLE.
SHE IS THE PAULETTE GODDARD
PROFESSOR OF NUTRITION, FOOD
STUDIES, AND PUBLIC HEALTH,
EMERITA, AT NEW YORK UNIVERSITY,
AND AN AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR.
HER NEW BOOK IS "UNSAVORY TRUTH:
HOW FOOD COMPANIES SKEW THE
SCIENCE OF WHAT WE EAT," AND SHE
JOINS US NOW TO EXPLAIN HOW
JOURNALISTS AND SCIENCE CAN DO BETTER.

Marion is in her late fifties, with curly gray hair. She's wearing a blue sweater and a printed golden scarf.
A picture of her book appears briefly on screen. The cover features a picture of a slice of lemon, a slice of grapefruit and a slice of orange.

Nam says HI.

Marion says HI.

Nam says WELCOME TO THE SHOW.

Marion says GLAD TO BE HERE.

Nam says YOU SAID THIS BOOK IS
MORE PERSONAL THAN YOUR PREVIOUS
BOOKS.
HOW SO?

The caption changes to "Marion Nestle. Author, 'Unsavory truth.'"
Then, it changes again to "It's personal."

Marion says WELL, I'M IN THE STORY AS
WELL AS WRITING ABOUT IT.
I'VE BEEN WRITING ABOUT
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST IN
NUTRITION RESEARCH SINCE THE
EARLY 2000S.
I GET INTERVIEWED BY REPORTERS
ABOUT THESE TOPICS.
I GET INVITED TO MEETINGS BY
FOOD COMPANIES.
I TELL THOSE STORIES IN THIS BOOK.
I FELT LIKE I HAD TO DO COMPLETE
DISCLOSURE IF I WAS GOING TO BE
COMPLAINING ABOUT MY COLLEAGUES'
RELATIONSHIPS WITH FOOD COMPANIES.
I THOUGHT I'D BETTER TALK ABOUT MY OWN.

Nam says LET'S GET INTO THE BOOK.
JUST ON THE FIRST PAGE YOU WRITE IN UNSAVOURY TRUTH...

A quote appears on screen, under the title "Food is a lens." The quote reads "WHAT WE EAT IS LINKED TO MATTERS OF POVERTY, INEQUALITY, RACE AND CLASS, immigration, SOCIAL AND POLITICAL CONFLICT, ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION, CLIMATE CHANGE AND MUCH ELSE. FOOD IS A LENS FOR WHICH TO EXAMINE ALL THOSE CONCERNS. I LOVE THE COMPLEXITY OF FOOD
ISSUES AND THE PASSION PEOPLE BRING TO EVERY ONE OF THEM. BUT I DO NOT LOVE THE WAY THE FOOD INDUSTRY HAS ADDED AN UNNECESSARY COMPLICATION: ENGAGING NUTRITION PROFESSIONALS IN MARKETING OBJECTIVES, SOMETIMES AGAINST THE INTEREST OF PUBLIC HEALTH."
Quoted from Marion Nestle, "Unsavory truth." 2018.

Nam says SO WHY ARE NUTRITION
PROFESSIONALS WILLING TO WORK
AGAINST WHAT YOU SAY, THE
INTERESTS OF PUBLIC HEALTH?

The caption changes to "Marion Nestle. New York University."
Then, it changes again to "Safeguarding science."

Marion says OH, I THINK THEY DON'T
REALIZE THAT THAT'S WHAT THEIR
DOING IN PARTNERING WITH FOOD COMPANIES.
I THINK THEY JUST THINK THEY'RE
GETTING MONEY FOR RESEARCH,
WITHOUT REALLY GIVING IT A LOT
OF CRITICAL THOUGHT.
MY COLLEAGUES, I FIND, ARE NOT
AWARE OF THE EXTRAORDINARY BODY
OF RESEARCH THAT LINKS INDUSTRY
FUNDING TO THE OUTCOME OF
RESEARCH.
AND WHAT THAT RESEARCH SHOWS,
AND IT'S FROM THE TOBACCO,
CHEMICAL AND PHARMACEUTICAL DRUG
INDUSTRIES, IS THAT RESEARCH
FUNDED BY THOSE INTERESTED
INDUSTRIES ALMOST INVARIABLY
COMES OUT WITH RESULTS THAT
FAVOUR THE SPONSOR'S INTEREST.
THE SAME THING IS TRUE FROM FOOD
INDUSTRIES, SPONSORED RESEARCH.

Nam says YOU SAID THAT YOUR
COLLEAGUES ARE NOT ABLE TO SEE THIS.
HOW DID YOU COME TO REALIZE THAT
THIS WAS AN ISSUE?

Marion says WELL, IN THE LATE 1990S I WAS
DOING THE RESEARCH FOR MY BOOK
"FOOD POLITICS" WHICH CAME OUT
IN 2002, AND IN THAT, IN DOING
THE RESEARCH FOR THAT BOOK, I
KEPT RUNNING ACROSS
INDUSTRY-FUNDED STUDIES THAT
SEEMED JUST REMARKABLY
COINCIDENTLY TO COME OUT WITH
RESULTS THAT INDEPENDENT
RESEARCHERS WERE NOT COMING OUT
WITH.
SO I NOTICED IT THEN, AND THEN
WROTE ABOUT IT IN "FOOD
POLITICS."
THERE'S A CHAPTER IN THAT BOOK
THAT DISCUSSES THAT ISSUE, AND
THEN I KIND OF FORGOT ABOUT IT
FOR THE NEXT 15 YEARS.
AND WHEN I WAS WRITING MY BOOK
ABOUT SODA POLITICS, WHICH CAME
OUT IN 2015, I CAME ACROSS ALL
THIS RESEARCH THAT COCA-COLA WAS
FUNDING, AND THAT BROUGHT THE
WHOLE ISSUE UP AGAIN.

Nam says YOU SAY THAT PEOPLE
DON'T REALIZE THAT IT COULD
INFLUENCE THEIR WORK.
WHY DO YOU THINK THAT
RESEARCHERS DISPUTE THE IDEA
THAT FINANCIAL TIES TO INDUSTRY
CAN, I GUESS, CLOUD THE OUTCOME
OF THEIR WORK?

The caption changes to "Marion Nestle, @marionnestle."

Marion says WELL, I THINK THIS KIND OF
THING... I THINK WE'RE HARD
WIRED NOT TO SEE THESE KINDS OF
RELATIONSHIPS.
WE'RE HARD WIRED TO THINK THAT
WE'RE INDEPENDENT, WE'RE
SCIENTISTS, WE THINK
INDEPENDENTLY.
A FOOD INDUSTRY SPONSOR ISN'T
GOING TO AFFECT THE WAY WE
DESIGN, CONDUCT OR INTERPRET OUR
RESEARCH.
IT HAS NO EFFECT ON ME.
I THINK PEOPLE FEEL THAT WAY,
KIND OF AUTOMATICALLY.
BUT THE RESEARCH SHOWS
OTHERWISE.

Nam says WHAT DOES THE RESEARCH SHOW?

The caption changes to "Connect with us: Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, agendaconnect@tvo.org, Instagram."

Marion says WELL, THE RESEARCH SHOWS THAT
IF YOU GET A GIFT FROM SOMEONE
YOU'RE GOING TO BE BEHOLDEN TO
THAT PERSON.
YOU'RE GOING TO WANT TO BE NICE
TO THEM.
ESPECIALLY IF YOU WANT THE GIFTS
TO CONTINUE.

Nam says WELL, HOW BIG A GIFT?
I THINK YOU SAY EVEN A NOTE PAD
AND A PEN COULD AFFECT THE
OUTCOME?

Marion says WELL, THE RESEARCH ON
PHARMACEUTICAL DRUGS SHOWS THAT
LARGER GIFTS, VACATIONS AND
SPORTING EVENTS AND BOX SEATS AT
REALLY EXPENSIVE SPORTING
EVENTS, HAVE A BIG EFFECT AND A
BIG INFLUENCE ON RESEARCH
OUTCOME.
BUT ALL IT TAKES IS A PEN AND A
PAD OF PAPER WITH A DRUG COMPANY
LOGO ON IT.

Nam says BUT HOW IS THAT
POSSIBLE?
I CAN SEE THAT IF SOMEBODY WAS
TO PAY FOR A TRIP TO GO
SOMEWHERE FANCY, STAY AT A NICE
HOTEL, MAYBE THAT COULD BE MORE
OBVIOUS.
BUT LIKE A NOTEPAD AND A PEN?
HOW COULD THAT BE?
HOW COULD THAT INFLUENCE YOUR
WORK?

Marion says BECAUSE IT HAPPENS AT AN
UNCONSCIOUS LEVEL.
PEOPLE AREN'T AWARE OF IT.
THAT'S WHAT MAKES THIS SO HARD
TO DEAL WITH.
PEOPLE REALLY FEEL THAT THEY ARE
INDEPENDENT IN ALL OF THIS, BUT
THE RESEARCH SHOWS OTHERWISE.

Nam says IN YOUR OWN WORK, HOW
HARD HAVE YOU FOUND IT TO AVOID
ENGAGING WITH FOOD, BEVERAGE AND
SUPPLEMENT COMPANIES?

Marion says OH, IT'S IMPOSSIBLE.
AS A PROFESSOR OF NUTRITION AT A
UNIVERSITY, I'M CONTACTED BY
FOOD COMPANIES ALL THE TIME.
THEY WANT TO SEND ME
INFORMATION.
SOMETIMES VERY EXPENSIVE
INFORMATION, BIG EXPENSIVE
BOOKS.
TEACHING MATERIALS.
THEY WANT ME TO COME TO THEIR
MEETINGS.
THEY WANT ME TO MEET WITH THEIR
EXECUTIVES.

Nam says IS THAT BAD, THOUGH, FOR
THEM TO TRY TO ENGAGE PEOPLE WHO
WORK IN THE INDUSTRY?

Marion says WELL, I THINK I HAVE TO MEET
WITH THEM.
I WANT TO KNOW WHAT FOOD
COMPANIES ARE DOING.
PART OF MY WORK IS TO KNOW WHAT
FOOD COMPANIES ARE DOING.
SO OF COURSE I WANT TO MEET WITH
THEM.
BUT I'M VERY AWARE THAT IN
MEETING WITH THEM I'M BEING
COOPERATIVE.
YOU KNOW, THEY WANT TO TELL ME
ALL THE GREAT THINGS THEY'RE
DOING.
THEY DON'T WANT ME TO CRITICIZE
THEM, AND PART OF THEIR COMING
TO MEET WITH ME IS TO NOT GET ME
TO DO THAT.
SO I HAVE TO BE VERY CONSCIOUS.

Nam says HAVE YOU ALWAYS BEEN
CONSCIOUS OF THAT BIAS?
HAVE YOU ALWAYS BEEN AWARE?

Marion says WELL, I DON'T REMEMBER WHEN
IT FIRST STARTED, BUT I TRACE MY
INTEREST IN THIS BACK TO A
MEETING THAT I WENT TO IN THE
EARLY 1990S AT THE NATIONAL
CANCER INSTITUTE, AT NIH.
THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF
HEALTH.
IT'S A BIG GOVERNMENT RESEARCH
INSTITUTE.
AND THAT MEETING WAS ABOUT
BEHAVIOURAL CAUSES OF CANCER,
DIET AND SMOKING.
AND FOR THE FIRST TIME I HEARD
ANTI-SMOKING ADVOCATES, PEOPLE
WHO WERE REALLY AGAINST
CIGARETTE SMOKING, SHOW
PHOTOGRAPHS OF CIGARETTE
MARKETING ALL OVER THE WORLD.
NOW I KNEW THAT CIGARETTE
COMPANIES MARKETED ALL OVER THE
WORLD, AND I KNEW THAT CIGARETTE
COMPANIES MARKETED TO CHILDREN.
AND I REMEMBER THAT ONE OF THESE
PEOPLE SHOWED A SLIDE SHOW...
THIS WAS PRE-POWERPOINT, OF
CIGARETTE MARKETING TO CHILDREN
IN PLACES WHERE CHILDREN HANG
OUT, AROUND SCHOOLS, EVERYWHERE.
THIS WAS THE DAYS OF JOE CAMEL
WHO WAS A CARTOON FIGURE.

Nam says WITH A CIGARETTE.
VERY COOL LOOKING.

Marion says VERY COOL.
CLEARLY DIRECTED AT YOUNG BOYS
WHO WERE MEMBERS OF MINORITIES.
CLEARLY DIRECTED TO THAT.
AND I KNEW ABOUT THAT, BUT I HAD
NEVER PAID ANY ATTENTION TO IT.
AND IT WAS JUST EYE OPENING TO
SEE HOW DELIBERATE ALL OF THAT WAS.

Nam says WERE YOU ANGRY?
WERE YOU SURPRISED?

Marion says WELL, I WAS SHOCKED BECAUSE I
KNEW ABOUT IT BUT I DIDN'T KNOW
ABOUT IT.
I HAD NEVER REALLY PAID
ATTENTION, AND I WALKED OUT OF
THAT MEETING THINKING "WE SHOULD
BE DOING THE SAME THING FOR
COCA-COLA."

Nam says AND WHO'S WE?

Marion says WE NUTRITIONISTS SHOULD BE
DOING THE SAME THING FOR
COCA-COLA.
WE SHOULD BE LOOKING AT HOW
COCA-COLA AND OTHER FOOD
COMPANIES ARE MARKETING TO
ADULTS AND TO CHILDREN.
AND SO I STARTED PAYING
ATTENTION.
AND THE RESULT OF THAT WAS MY
BOOK "FOOD POLITICS."

Nam says I WANT TO SHOW YOU A
CLIP AND THEN I WANT TO GET YOUR
VIEWS ON THIS.
LAST SEPTEMBER WE PRESENTED A
DISCUSSION OF GENE EDITING IN
AGRICULTURE, AND THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED.
SHELDON, PLEASE ROLL.

A clip plays on screen with the caption "September 18, 2018. Lucy Sharratt. Canadian Biotechnology Action Network."
In the clip, Lucy talks. She's in her forties, with curly brown hair in a bun.

She says AND IF WE'RE TO FINISH THE
CIRCLE OF TRANSPARENCY THEN
ALSO, YOU KNOW, DR. SMYTH ALSO
IN ADDITION TO ALL HIS OTHER
WORK, ALSO HOLDS AN INDUSTRY
FUNDED AGRI-FOOD INNOVATION
CHAIR FUNDED BY SYNGENTA
AND BAYER, AND IT'S JUST
PART OF THE REALITIES, THESE NEW
TECHNOLOGIES, THAT THE COMPANIES
HAVE MONEY TO SUPPORT RESEARCH.

Now a clip shows a man talking. A caption reads "Stuart Smyth. University of Saskatchewan."

Smyth, in his fifties, with glasses and a handlebar mustache, says
THERE'S DOZENS OF THESE RESEARCH CHAIRS IN UNIVERSITIES
ACROSS THE COUNTRY.
THERE'S GUIDELINES ABOUT CONTROL
OVER INFORMATION, CONTROL OVER
DATA, AND I THINK IT'S JUST
TYPICALLY A SCARE TACTIC BY
THOSE OPPOSED TO INNOVATION IN
AGRICULTURE AND IN SCIENCE MORE
BROADLY THAT THESE TYPES OF
CONCERNS WOULD START TO COME
INTO PLAY.
THESE CHAIRS HAVE BEEN AROUND
FOR DECADES WHERE INDUSTRY AND
UNIVERSITIES ARE COLLABORATING.

The clips end.

The caption changes to "The role of journalists."

Nam says AND SO THE FIRST CLIP
WAS COURTESY OF LUCIE CHARETTE.
DO YOU THINK THAT SHE HAS A
LEGITIMATE CONCERN OVER THE
POTENTIAL FOR STUART SMYTH'S
RESEARCH TO BE BIASSED?

Marion says WELL, WE KNOW THAT THE
INDUSTRY THAT MAKES GENETICALLY
MODIFIED FOODS HAS PUT AN
ENORMOUS EFFORT INTO MAKING SURE
THAT RESEARCH COMES OUT IN ITS
FAVOUR.
AND WE'RE SEEING THAT
PARTICULARLY OVER THE... OVER
THE CHEMICAL THAT'S USED WITH A
LOT OF GENETICALLY MODIFIED
FOODS.
AND SO THIS INDUSTRY HAS A BIG
INTEREST IN MAKING SURE THAT
PEOPLE THINK THAT GENETICALLY
MODIFIED FOODS ARE SAFE AND THAT
THE INDUSTRY IS BEHAVING IN
RESPONSIBLE WAYS, WITH A LOT OF
INTEGRITY.
SO I DIDN'T WRITE ABOUT
GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOODS IN
THIS BOOK BECAUSE IT WOULD HAVE
TAKEN A WHOLE BOOK TO DO THAT.
BUT THE BIASES ARE THERE.
THERE'S RESEARCH THAT
DEMONSTRATES THAT
INDUSTRY-FUNDED STUDIES HAVE AN
ENORMOUS PROBABILITY OF COMING
OUT WITH RESULTS THAT FAVOUR THE
INDUSTRY SPONSOR.
AND THERE ARE STUDIES THAT SHOW
THAT INDEPENDENTLY FUNDED
RESEARCH COMES OUT WITH QUITE
DIFFERENT RESULTS.
SO THE INDUSTRY FUNDING IS
CLEARLY A SOURCE OF BIAS.
THAT DOESN'T MEAN THAT EVERY
INDUSTRY-FUNDED STUDY IS
BIASSED, BUT IT MEANS YOU HAVE
TO BE AWARE OF THAT PROBABILITY.
MY DEGREE IS IN MOLECULAR
BIOLOGY, AND WHEN I WENT TO
GRADUATE SCHOOL, WE WERE TRAINED
TO UNDERSTAND THAT WE WERE
BIASSED IN FAVOUR OF GETTING
RESULTS THAT WE WANTED.
AND WE HAD TO TAKE EVERY
POSSIBLE STEP IN ORDER TO
CONTROL FOR OUR OWN TENDENCIES
TOWARDS BIAS.
I DON'T SEE THAT HAPPENING IN
INDUSTRY-FUNDED RESEARCH.

Nam says WHAT ABOUT THE ARGUMENT
IN ORDER FOR INNOVATION TO OCCUR
YOU NEED MONEY, AND WE'RE
TALKING NOT JUST THOUSANDS OF
DOLLARS BUT MILLIONS OF DOLLARS.
WHAT'S WRONG WITH GETTING MONEY
FROM INDUSTRY IF IT'S GOING TO
HELP INNOVATION?

Marion says WELL, IF IT'S HELPING IN
INNOVATION, THAT'S FINE.
BUT I'D LIKE TO SEE
INDUSTRY-FUNDED STUDIES SET UP
WITH SOME KIND OF FIREWALL SO
THAT THE FUNDER AND THE
INVESTIGATOR ARE NOT SO CLOSELY
ALIGNED, THAT THE FUNDER FEELS
PRESSURE CONSCIOUSLY OR
UNCONSCIOUSLY TO PRODUCE RESULTS
THAT THE FUNDER WANTS.

Nam says IS THE BIAS THAT MIGHT
CREEP INTO STUART'S RESEARCH
GREATER THAN THE BIAS THAT LUCIE
CHARETTE MIGHT EXPERIENCE GIVEN
THE SMALLER AMOUNT OF FUNDING
THAT HER ORGANIZATION RECEIVES
FROM ORGANIC FOOD COMPANIES?

Marion says WELL, THE RESEARCH SHOWS THAT
THE LARGER THE FUNDING THE
GREATER THE TENDENCY TO BIAS THE
RESULTS.
BUT ALL INDUSTRY FUNDING NEEDS
TO BE LOOKED AT AS A POTENTIAL
SOURCE OF CONSCIOUS OR
UNCONSCIOUS BIAS.
AND THE BIGGER THE FUNDER, THE
FUNDING, THE BIGGER THE PROBLEM.
BUT EVEN SMALL AMOUNTS OF
FUNDING ARE... COULD HAVE AN
EFFECT.

Nam says LET'S FOR A MOMENT TURN
THE CAMERA ON TO US, THIS
ORGANIZATION, TVO.
WHAT RESPONSIBILITY DO YOU THINK
WE SHOULD BE TAKING AS A
BROADCASTER OF THIS INTERVIEW TO
LET OUR AUDIENCE KNOW ABOUT OUR
FINANCIAL TIES THAT OUR GUESTS
HAVE RELATED TO THE ISSUE BEING
DISCUSSED?

Marion says WELL, I THINK IT'S A REALLY
IMPORTANT ONE.
I DON'T TAKE ANY FOOD INDUSTRY
MONEY.
ALTHOUGH I DO FOR TRAVEL.
IF I GO TO AN INDUSTRY-FUNDED
MEETING I WILL TAKE TRAVEL
FUNDS.

Nam says BUT ISN'T THAT MONEY,
THOUGH?

Marion says THAT IS MONEY, BUT I COULDN'T
GO OTHERWISE.
I'M AN ACADEMIC.
I'M NOT A WEALTHY PERSON.

Nam says SO HOW DO YOU MAKE
THAT... I GUESS THAT DECISION?
WHERE DO YOU DRAW THE LINE?

Marion says WELL, I HAVE A POLICY THAT I
SET UP THAT I SAID I COULD LIVE
WITH.
IT'S NOT A PERFECT POLICY, BUT
IT'S A POLICY THAT MAKES ME
THINK ABOUT IT AND MAKES ME
AWARE OF THE PROBLEMS SO THAT
I'M... UP WHENEVER I GO TO A
MEETING THAT'S BEEN PAID...
WHERE MY TRAVEL HAS BEEN PAID
FOR.

Nam says IF THAT WAS TO HAPPEN,
THOUGH, DO YOU THINK THAT
WOULD... HOW WOULD THE PUBLIC
RECEIVE THAT INFORMATION?

Marion says WELL, IT DEPENDS.
THERE ARE STUDIES ON THAT POINT
TOO, AND THOSE STUDIES SHOW THAT
DISCLOSURE IS VERY COMPLICATED,
THAT DISCLOSURE... EVERYBODY
BELIEVES THAT DISCLOSURE IS A
NECESSARY FIRST STEP, BUT IT
SOMETIMES HAS PERVERSE EFFECTS.
CERTAINLY IN STUDIES OF DRUG
INDUSTRY FUNDING OF PHYSICIANS
AND PHYSICIANS DISCLOSURE OF
THEIR FUNDING TO PATIENTS,
PATIENTS TEND TO TRUST DOCTORS
MORE IF THEY DISCLOSE.

Nam says BECAUSE THEY ARE PEOPLE
OF AUTHORITY?

Marion says BECAUSE THEY ARE PEOPLE OF
AUTHORITY AND BECAUSE THEY ARE
DISCLOSING SO THEY ARE OBVIOUSLY
HONEST.
BUT DISCLOSURE IS ONLY A FIRST
STEP.
IT DOESN'T SOLVE THE PROBLEM.

Nam says READING THIS BOOK, AS I
WAS SAYING TO YOU IN THE GREEN
ROOM, AS A READER OR AS A VIEWER
OF OUR NETWORK, HOW CAN SOMEONE
ENSURE THAT THE INFORMATION
THEY'RE GETTING IS TRUSTWORTHY,
THAT THEY CAN TRUST THAT
INFORMATION?

The caption changes to "Viewer tips."

Marion says WELL, I THINK THAT'S THE
HARDEST QUESTION IN THE WORLD TO
ANSWER, AND PEOPLE CONSTANTLY
ASK ME THAT QUESTION, AND MY
ANSWER TO IT IS TRUST ME.
[LAUGHTER]
BUT I THINK YOU HAVE TO LISTEN
TO WHAT'S BEING SAID AND DECIDE
FOR YOURSELF WHETHER IT MAKES
SENSE, TO START WITH.
AND I HAVE SOME CLUES THAT I USE
IF IT'S A BREAKTHROUGH, THAT'S A
RED FLAG THAT, NO, THAT'S NOT
HOW SCIENCE WORKS.
IF IT'S EVERYTHING YOU THOUGHT
YOU KNEW ABOUT NUTRITION IS
FALSE AND YOU NEED TO COMPLETELY
RE-THINK IT, OH, THAT'S A REALLY
BIG RED FLAG BECAUSE THAT'S NOT
HOW SCIENCE WORKS EITHER.
ANY TIME A STUDY LOOKS AT ONE
FOOD OR ONE NUTRIENT AND CLAIMS
THAT THAT ONE FOOD OR ONE
NUTRIENT WILL PROTECT YOU
AGAINST A WHOLE RANGE OF
DISEASES, YOU WANT TO BE
SKEPTICAL ABOUT SOMETHING LIKE
THAT BECAUSE PEOPLE DON'T EAT
INDIVIDUAL FOODS.
THEY EAT DIETS.

Nam says AND YOU'RE SAYING THAT
IT'S HARD TO EVEN ACTUALLY TRACK
THIS BECAUSE, UNLIKE DRUGS, WE
EAT SO MANY DIFFERENT FOODS.

Marion says YEAH, NUTRITION RESEARCH IS
VERY, VERY COMPLICATED.
IT'S VERY HARD TO DO, AND
ANYBODY WHO TRIES TO SIMPLIFY
IT, ESPECIALLY IF THEY ARE
TRYING TO SELL SOMETHING, IT'S
SOMETHING YOU JUST WANT TO BE A
LITTLE SKEPTICAL ABOUT.

Nam says AND MY LAST QUESTION,
YOU READ ABOUT A LOT OF
DIFFERENT PEOPLE... ABOUT A LOT
OF DIFFERENT COMPANIES,
DIFFERENT COMPANIES,
MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR COMPANIES,
AND INDIVIDUALS.
WHAT'S THE PUSHBACK BEEN LIKE
WITH THIS INFORMATION THAT YOU
PUT OUT IN YOUR BOOK?

Marion says WELL, SO THE BOOK'S ONLY BEEN
OUT FOR A COUPLE OF MONTHS, AND
I HAVEN'T GOTTEN VERY MUCH ONE
WAY OR THE OTHER.
THE REVIEWS TO IT HAVE BEEN EXCELLENT.

Nam says BUT IN THE PAST WHEN
YOU'VE WRITTEN SOMETHING, YOU'VE
BEEN DISINVITED TO THINGS,
HAVEN'T YOU?

Marion says OH, VERY SELDOM.
IT'S HAPPENED A COUPLE OF TIMES
AND THERE HAVE BEEN A COUPLE OF
THREATENED LAWSUITS, BUT NOTHING
EVER CAME OF THEM.
I AM OFTEN INVITED TO MEET WITH
FOOD INDUSTRY EXECUTIVES, AND I
TAKE THE OPPORTUNITY TO DO SO
EVERY CHANCE I GET.

The caption changes to "Producer: Gregg Thurlbeck, @GreggThurlbeck."

Nam says MARION NESTLE, THANK YOU
SO MUCH FOR BEING HERE.
IT'S AN EYE-OPENING READ.
THE BOOK IS CALLED "UNSAVOURY
TRUTHS."
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR MAKING
TIME FOR US.
APPRECIATE IT.

Watch: Battling Bias in Nutrition Research