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Comment & Response |

Conflicts of Interest in Approvals of Food Additives—Reply

Thomas G. Neltner, JD1; Maricel V. Maffini, PhD1
[+] Author Affiliations
1Natural Resources Defense Council, Washington, DC
JAMA Intern Med. 2014;174(2):300-301. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.12686.
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In Reply Clemens and Schmidt imply that a conflict of interest is synonymous with a lack of scientific integrity. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) report concluded that no matter how careful an individual is, conflicts may compromise a scientist’s objective analysis consciously or unconsciously, potentially resulting in a poor decision.1

Clemens and Schmidt also assert, without substantiation, that transparency and conflicts of interest standards may “compromise food safety through empaneling less-experienced reviewers.” If true that too few competent scientists are without serious conflicts, perhaps the close-knit network that makes many of the determinations about additives to food “Generally Recognized as Safe” (GRAS) has become stagnant and needs to grow.


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February 1, 2014
Leon Bruner, DVM, PhD
1Science and Regulatory Affairs, The Grocery Manufacturers Association, Washington, DC
JAMA Intern Med. 2014;174(2):299. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.12720.
February 1, 2014
Roger Clemens, DrPH; David Schmidt
1International Center for Regulatory Science, University of Southern California School of Pharmacy, Los Angeles
2International Food Information Council, Washington, DC
JAMA Intern Med. 2014;174(2):299-300. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.12723.
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