Conflicts of interest have become more the rule than the occasional exception. Even the trusted US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) receives heavy funding from industry.
How this conflict of interest may have affected the organization’s decisions is the topic of an article1 in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), penned by the journal’s associate editor, Jeanne Lenzer, who notes:
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) includes the following disclaimer with its recommendations:
“CDC, our planners, and our content experts wish to disclose they have no financial interests or other relationships with the manufacturers of commercial products… CDC does not accept commercial support.”
The CDC’s image as an independent watchdog over the public health has given it enormous prestige, and its recommendations are occasionally enforced by law.
Despite the agency’s disclaimer, the CDC does receive millions of dollars in industry gifts and funding, both directly and indirectly, and several recent CDC actions and recommendations have raised questions about the science it cites, the clinical guidelines it promotes, and the money it is taking.”