A new study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society shows that increasing diet soda intake is directly linked to greater abdominal obesity in adults 65 years of age and older. Metabolic syndrome--a combination of risk factors that may lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke--is one of the results of the obesity epidemic.
In an effort to combat obesity, many adults try to reduce sugar intake by turning to nonnutritive or artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, saccharin, or sucralose. The San Antonio Longitudinal Study of Aging (SALSA) enrolled 749 Mexican- and European-Americans who were aged 65 and older at the start of the study (1992-96). The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society is a comprehensive and reliable source of monthly research and information about common diseases and disorders of older adults. Founded in 1942, the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) is a nationwide, not-for-profit society of geriatrics healthcare professionals dedicated to improving the health, independence, and quality of life of older people. Wiley is a global provider of knowledge and knowledge-enabled services that improve outcomes in areas of research, professional practice and education. By now, you have seen any number of articles telling you that drinking sweetened beverages is bad for your physical health, these drinks having been linked to surges in the incidence of obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, metabolic syndrome, fatty liver disease, and heart attacks. Laurel Avery, DiHom, became interested in natural health and the positive effects of healthy eating after moving to Europe from her native New York. New food technologies that involve genetic engineering should proceed only with robust testing for health and environmental risks, as well as with full transparency, including clear on-package labeling, open access to scientific data, and disclosure of industry influence over science and academia. Genetically engineered foods may someday provide benefits to consumers; however, at this time, the overwhelming majority do not.
Most genetically engineered crops on the market are designed to confer tolerance to herbicides, a trait that allows for – and has resulted in – large increases in herbicide use on corn, soybeans and other crops. It is incorrect to report that the science is settled on the safety and benefits of genetic engineering. Today’s Senate vote is a victory for consumers and everyone who wants the right to know what’s in our food. The Roberts measure, backed by the food industry, shows the contempt of our nation’s large food companies for their own customers, who overwhelmingly support labeling of genetically engineered food. The industry campaign for the DARK Act will only accelerate consumer distrust of large food companies and their processed food.  In other words, the bill’s proponents will reap what they have sown. Jon Entine, a leading chemical industry PR operative who has written dozens of articles defending corporate interests, today attacked the Columbia University’s Journalism School, stating that it “smeared Exxon,” engaged in “advocacy journalism,” and hired “an activist” to run the Journalism School.
In his New York Post article today, Entine attacks award-winning journalist Susanne Rust, who is an investigative editor at the Columbia Journalism School.  Entine fails to mention that Rust and co-author Meg Kissinger exposed undisclosed industry ties of Entine’s group STATS in a 2009 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article, which reported that “STATS claims to be independent and nonpartisan. Entine is executive director of the agrichemical industry front group Genetic Literacy Project, a group with unknown funding that regularly attacks activists, journalists and scientists who raise concerns about the health and environmental risks of genetically engineered foods and pesticides. In 2012, Entine claimed he had “no idea” that Syngenta was funding the organization (American Council on Science and Health) that published his book defending Syngenta’s herbicide, atrazine, according to reporting by Tom Philpott in Mother Jones. Glyphosate is the chief ingredient in Roundup weed killer, made by Monsanto Co., and is also the active ingredient in hundreds of herbicide products sold around the world.
Entine founded ESG MediaMetrics, a “sustainability” communications firm whose clients included Monsanto and the Vinyl Institute.
Entine is executive director of Genetic Literacy Project (GLP), which promotes GMOs and pesticides. Faculty at the first boot camp included representatives from GMO manufacturers, food industry front groups and trade groups, and pro-GMO academics including University of Florida Professor Kevin Folta, and University of Illinois Professor Emeritus Bruce Chassy, both of whom have accepted undisclosed funding from Monsanto and promote the GMOs and pesticides that Monsanto sales rely upon.
Entine conducted a similar boot camp to reframe the GMO debate for journalists and scientists in 2015.
A 2012 Mother Jones article about Entine describes the circumstances leading up to the publication of the book. In one email from 2009, ACSH staff asked Syngenta for an additional $100,000 – “separate and distinct from general operating support Syngenta has been so generously providing over the years” – to produce an atrazine-friendly paper and “consumer-friendly booklet” to help educate media and scientists. Entine denied any relationship with Syngenta and told Philpott he had “no idea” Syngenta was funding ACSH. In a 2014 New Yorker article, based on internal Syngenta documents, Rachel Aviv revealed how Syngenta’s public relations team plotted to “discredit” UC Berkeley Professor Tyrone Hayes, whose research suggests that the herbicide atrazine is associated with birth defects. A month later, Entine wrote an attack piece in Forbes describing Aviv’s story as a “botch puff piece” and calling Hayes “almost completely discredited.” Entine’s primary source was a “summary analysis” by University of Illinois Professor Emeritus Bruce Chassy, posted on Academics Review, which claims to be an independent website started by independent scientists. A year before the New Yorker story, Entine used his Forbes platform to attack Hayes and defend Syngenta. The Statistical Assessment Service (STATS), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, disclosed in its IRS annual form 990s that it paid Entine for his work as a “research consultant” $140,600 in 2012, and $152,500 in 2013.
STATS is “funded by a grant from the Searle Freedom Trust and a donation from the American Statistical Association,” according to its website. The Center for Media and Public Affairs also receives grants from the George Mason University Foundation. Charles Koch is a major funder of various GMU projects, according to a recent Greenpeace analysis of IRS filings from Koch’s nonprofit foundations. According to PR Watch, despite repeated attempts by students to obtain information about the grants, George Mason University refuses to comply because it has housed the grants under the private GMU Foundation instead of the university itself to prevent disclosures about their source. Entine is a senior research fellow at GMU’s Center for Health & Risk Communication, and a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a DC think tank funded in part by corporate and dark money contributions. Entine is a senior fellow at the UC Davis World Food Center’s Institute for Food and Agricultural Literacy (IFAL). GLP published Professor Juma’s paper along with five other pro-GMO papers written by professors and assigned by Monsanto.
Growing scientific evidence suggests that neonicotinoids, the most widely used class of pesticides, are a key factor in bee die-offs. Attacked a Harvard professor’s study on bee Colony Collapse Disorder (American Enterprise Institute).
In August of 2012, Entine defended vinyl plastic backpacks that were found to be exposing children to phthalates. Entine wrote: “Few chemicals on the market today have undergone as much scientific scrutiny as phthalate esters” (Forbes). Entine criticized an NBC reporter for “shoddy journalism” for raising questions about the safety of phthalates (Forbes). Entine defends hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), the pumping of high-pressure chemical-laced water into the ground to crack shale and extract natural gas.
For example, Entine claimed: “From a scientific perspective, no reason exists to even suspect unknown health or environmental issues will turn up” from fracking (New York Post). Accused New York Times reporters of misleading children about the potential environmental dangers of fracking (Forbes). Attacked two Cornell University scientists for their study suggesting that fracking operations leak methane (Forbes). Entine writes in defense of the chemical bisphenol A (BPA), despite a large body of scientific evidence raising concerns about its endocrine disrupting potential and other health problems associated with it.
Attacked “a small but determined group of university researchers, activist NGOs and journalists” raising concerns about BPA (Forbes).
Criticized Harvard Professor Naomi Oreskes for pointing out the economic and environmental risks of nuclear power (Huffington Post). Claims that nuclear power plants are environmentally benign and that “Nothing as bad as Chernobyl is likely to occur in the West” (Jon Entine). Argued that Germany is “taking a gamble” by transitioning away from nuclear power (Ethical Corporation).

The emails also reveal that Monsanto and a public relations operative helped Chassy set up a nonprofit group and website called Academics Review to criticize individuals, organizations and others who raise questions about the health or environmental risks of GMOs.
In a recent example, Chassy co-authored a series of articles that argue GMO labeling is a “disaster in waiting,” again with no disclosure of his collaboration with GMO developer Monsanto. Carey Gillam, a veteran journalist with more than 20 years of experience covering corporate America, with a special focus on corporate food and agricultural systems and policies, has joined U.S.
Gillam has been recognized as one of the top food and agriculture journalists in the United States, winning several awards for her coverage of the industry, and appearing as an expert commentator on radio and television broadcasts. During the investigation and subsequent collapse of the Coca-Cola front group Global Energy Balance Network, the New York Times and Associated Press discovered that prominent university professors working on obesity issues had been funded by The Coca-Cola Company. It is a conflict of interest for professors working on obesity issues to accept funding from Coca-Cola. If a professor takes money from one of these soda companies, that is crucial context for their views on obesity, and journalists disserve their readers by failing to report it. The net effect of quoting these professors without disclosing their Coca-Cola funding is to unfairly enhance their credibility, while undermining the credibility of public health and consumer advocates. This short report reviews news coverage quoting two leaders of the Coca-Cola front group Global Energy Balance Network: Professors James O. According to Associated Press, “Since 2010, Coke said it gave $550,000 to Hill that was unrelated to the [Global Energy Balance Network] group.
Following is a list of 30 news articles written after Professors Hill and Blair received funding from Coca-Cola (after January 1, 2011 for Hill, and January 1, 2009 for Blair) in which journalists failed to disclose that Professors Hill and Blair were funded by Coca-Cola. Peoria Journal-Star: Sedentary Behavior Is a Health Risk That Needs to Be Addressed at All Ages. Why did so many reporters and news outlets fail to disclose the conflicts of interest of these two prominent professors? Readers, too, should be aware that some influential news outlets do not always disclose their sources’ conflicts of interest, which makes their coverage of food and agriculture issues less fair and credible.  It gives readers a legitimate reason to be skeptical of some mainstream media coverage of food and agriculture issues because of pro-industry biases sometimes contained in it. In November, we wrote a similar report about how journalists failed to disclose sources’ ties to the agrichemical giant Monsanto. Following a Columbia Journalism Review article on whether science journalists should accept money from corporate interests, and whether there is adequate disclosure of sources’ corporate ties and conflicts of interest, U.S.
Our review found 27 articles quoting (or authored by) university professors after they received Monsanto funding, but without disclosing that funding. The principal effect of failing to reveal these conflicts of interest is to unfairly enhance the credibility of Monsanto-funded academics, and their support of GMOs and criticism of organic food, while detracting from the credibility of consumer advocates. Our review found that many top media outlets quoted either University of Florida Professor Kevin Folta or University of Illinois Professor Emeritus Bruce Chassy without disclosing that the professors received funding from Monsanto. Following is a list of news articles quoting (or authored by) Professors Folta and Chassy — after they received their Monsanto funding – but failing to disclose that they had received the Monsanto funding.
Science Insider: Agricultural Researchers Rattled by Demands for Documents from Group Opposed to GM Foods. Forbes: Zombie Retracted Seralini GMO Maize Rat Study Republished To Hostile Scientist Reactions.
Forbes: Did The New Yorker Botch Puff Piece On Frog Scientist Tyrone Hayes, Turning Rogue into Beleaguered Hero? Forbes: Anti-GMO Scientist Gilles-Eric Seralini, Activist Jeffrey Smith Withdraw from Food Biotech Debate. Peoria Journal Star: Hybrid Crops That Used to Offer Resistance to Rootworm No Match for Mother Nature. This is merely one example of two professors who were not identified as received funding from Monsanto, and yet these two professors received major traction in the media as “independent” experts on GMOs and organics. How often does it happen that journalists present other academics funded by food or agrichemical companies as “independent” sources and without disclosing their corporate funding?
One remedy for this problem is that when journalists write about food, that they carefully ask their sources whether they have any conflicts of interest, where they get their funding from, and whether they receive any funding from food or agrichemical companies like Monsanto, or their PR front groups.
So you are avoiding sugary soft drinks to avoid weight gain and some metabolic disorders, or perhaps the link to pancreatic cancer. These artificial sweeteners have been banned and reinstated since being declared safe by some government agencies. Findings raise concerns about the safety of chronic diet soda consumption, which may increase belly fat and contribute to greater risk of metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular diseases.
In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 1.9 billion adults were overweight (body mass index [BMI] of 25 or more) in 2014.
Previous research shows that in the past 30 years, artificial sweeteners and diet soda intake have increased, yet the prevalence of obesity has also seen a dramatic increase in the same time period. Diet soda intake, waist circumference, height, and weight were measured at study onset, and at three follow-ups in 2000-01, 2001-03, and 2003-04, for a total of 9.4 follow-up years.
The authors recommend that older individuals who drink diet soda daily, particularly those at high cardiometabolic risk, should try to curb their consumption of artificially sweetened drinks.
Its more than 6,200 members include geriatricians, geriatric nurses, social workers, family practitioners, physician assistants, consulting pharmacists, and internists.
Through the Research segment, the Company provides digital and print scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly journals, reference works, books, database services, and advertising. But did you know that drinking sodas and other sweetened drinks could be bad for your mental health as well? After visiting a series of conventional doctors for a minor but nagging medical complaint, all of whom had no success or interest in finding the cause of the problem, she turned to alternative medicine.
This use of large volumes of herbicides raises concerns about health risks of food made with these crops.
Right to Know is a nonprofit organization that investigates the risks associated with the corporate food system, and the food industry’s practices and influence on public policy. Right to Know called on Entine to reveal in full detail his funding and ties to the industries he defends in his writing.
But a review of its financial reports shows it is a branch of the Center for Media and Public Affairs. Right to Know is a nonprofit organization that investigates the risks associated with the corporate food system, and the food industry’s practices and influence on public policy.
It is the most widely used herbicide globally, and its use has surged in the United States with the spread of genetically engineered crops that have been designed to tolerate being sprayed with glyphosate. Department of Agriculture conducts its own annual testing of foods for pesticide residues through a “pesticide data program,” that typically tests for several hundred different pesticides each year.
Right to Know is a nonprofit organization that investigates the risks associated with the corporate food system, and the food industry’s practices and influence on public policy. We promote the free market principle of transparency – in the marketplace and in politics – as crucial to building a better, healthier food system. He portrays himself as a science journalist, an objective authority on issues important to the chemical industry. It states that it is “funded by grants from non-partisan foundations” but does not disclose which ones, nor whether it receives funding from corporations, trade associations or other agrichemical industry interests.
The article, by Tom Philpott, is based in part on internal company documents, obtained by the Center for Media and Democracy, describing Syngenta’s PR efforts to get third-party allies to spin media coverage of atrazine. Right to Know reveal that Monsanto and a former Monsanto public relations executive helped Chassy to establish Academics Review as a website and platform to criticize individuals, organizations and others who raise questions about GMOs or pesticides.
Entine described “competing narratives” about why Hayes lost funding to continue researching atrazine. For example, the GMU Foundation disclosed in its IRS form 990s that it gave to CMPA a $75,670 grant in 2013, and a $220,900 grant in 2012.

Donations to the World Food Center are not publicly disclosed.  The World Food Center’s founding director is Roger Beachy, who was also founding president of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. The Genetic Literacy Project cross-promotes many industry-affiliated pro-GMO messengers and regularly attacks organizations and people who raise concerns about the health and environmental risks of GMOs and pesticides. He didn’t mention that a significant body of scientific evidence compiled over two decades links phthalate exposures to abnormal reproductive development in baby boys. As in his many other messaging campaigns, Entine blasts science and scientists who raise concerns, framing them as “activists,” while making sweeping and indefensible statements about “scrupulous” science conducted over many years that defend its safety.
Canada declared the chemical to be toxic in 2010, and the European Union banned BPA in baby bottles in 2011. Right to Know today called for improved transparency and public disclosure of industry funding for and coordination with public university professors.
Right to Know through state Freedom of Information Act requests show extensive collaboration between agrichemical industry giant Monsanto Co. Right to Know calls on Congress to require disclosure of food and agrichemical industry payments to universities and professors, just as pharmaceutical and medical device companies are required to disclose payments to physicians and teaching hospitals under the Physician Payments Sunshine Act. Right to Know is a nonprofit organization that investigates the risks associated with the corporate food system, and the food industry’s practices and influence on public policy. We promote the free market principle of transparency – in the marketplace and in politics – as crucial to building a better, healthier food system. Right to Know (USRTK), Gillam will coordinate research projects and reports, media partnerships and written communications that represent and advance USRTK’s mission to better inform the public about food industry practices and the industry’s often-hidden role in public policy. There is now substantial medical evidence that soda and the soda industry – and especially Coca-Cola and PepsiCo – are in part responsible for our nation’s obesity epidemic, and increase the incidence of diabetes and heart disease. Readers need to know who pays sources to evaluate the legitimacy and biases of these sources.
One answer is clear: reporters and editors must be on their guard for corporate-funded professors who pose as issue experts but are really acting as mouthpieces for food companies like Coca-Cola.
Both of these reports highlight the same problem: academics who appear in the media as independent sources when they are actually taking money from companies to promote particular views. Right to Know reviewed recent articles to assess how often journalists and columnists quote academic sources without stating that they are funded by the agrichemical giant Monsanto, which produces pesticides and GMOs.
When reporters quote sources about food issues such as GMOs or organic food, readers deserve to know if the sources have been funded by Monsanto or have other conflicts of interest.
According to documents published by the New York Times, Professor Folta received Monsanto funding in August 2014, and Professor Chassy in October 2011, if not before.
The only reason the professors admitted to receiving Monsanto funding was due to emails uncovered by Freedom of Information Act requests filed by U.S.
Professor Kevin Folta received Monsanto funding, yet repeatedly denied ties to or funding from Monsanto.
Of this group, 600 million people fell into the obese range (BMI of 30 or more)--a figure that has more than doubled since 1980. Many of the studies exploring diet soda consumption and cardiometabolic diseases have focused on middle-aged and younger adults. The Society provides leadership to healthcare professionals, policymakers, and the public by implementing and advocating for programs in patient care, research, professional and public education, and public policy. The Professional Development segment provides digital and print books, online assessment and training services, and test prep and certification. It was after a major change in eating habits from consuming the typical American diet to one involving whole, nutritious foods, as are commonly eaten in Europe, along with homeopathy and herbal remedies, that the problem was cured. We are not opposed to genetic engineering or genetically engineered foods or crops; we advocate for a precautionary and transparent approach for all new food technologies. Multiple scientific studies, and the World Health Organization’s cancer research unit, have validated these concerns. Right to Know revealed Entine’s ties to New York Times reporter Amy Harmon, Washington Post food columnist Tamar Haspel, and pro-GMO journalist Keith Kloor. Food and Drug Administration today for declaring that it plans to start testing for glyphosate residues in soybeans, corn, milk and eggs among other potential foods as concerns about the popular herbicide mount around the world. But concerns about the chemical’s impact on human health and on the environment have been growing, and in March 2015 the World Health Organization’s cancer experts classified glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen.
But only once in the history of the 24-year program has the agency conducted tests for glyphosate residues. But the evidence shows that he is actually a longtime public relations operative with deep ties to the chemical industry. Entine’s narrative casts Hayes as the “activist scientist with a long history of discredited studies” against “one of the most scrutinized chemicals in history” that was unjustly banned in Europe. The GMU Foundation was the top recipient with $45.5 million, followed by two other GMU programs.
Gillam was previously a senior journalist with Reuters, one of the world’s largest news organizations. Journalists have a responsibility to know and to reveal if their sources are working on behalf of industry. Reporters – and readers — should be aware that such deceit by Monsanto-funded academics has recently occurred, and be on their guard against it. Brain scans have revealed that this is because sugar is just as addictive as cocaine; the more we drink it the more our bodies continue to crave it. In Education, Wiley provides education solutions including online program management services for higher education institutions and course management tools for instructors and students, as well as print and digital content. She now devotes her time to helping others learn how to achieve vibrant health through their diet. Though the FDA has responsibility for food safety and for routinely measuring for pesticide residues on certain foods, the agency has not routinely looked for glyphosate in its pesticide chemical residue monitoring regulatory program in the past. Those tests, in 2011, were limited to 300 soybean samples and found that 271 of the samples had glyphosate residues. His work features the defense of GMOs, pesticides, industrial chemicals, fracking and nuclear power. Hayes is, in fact, a full professor in the integrative biology department of UC Berkeley, one of the most prestigious public universities in the world.
This has to do with the artificial sweeteners that diet sodas contain and the way in which they interact with our brains.What most do not know is that consuming artificial sweeteners, like stevia and sucralose, triggers the reward centers in our brains even more than normal sugar does.
Ultimately, by consuming diet soda, you are putting yourself at risk for the same health issues you are trying to ward off by drinking it.The simple solution to all this is to stop drinking soda in all its forms. Correlating the depression diagnoses (or lack thereof) with their beverage intake data, the researchers found that people who drank four cans or cups of soda per day were 30 percent more likely to be diagnosed with depression than those who drank no soda at all. The subjects who drank four or more cans of fruit punch were 38 percent more likely to develop depression than those who did not drink sweetened drinks.
These risks were even higher for those who drank diet sodas and fruit punches than for those who drank regular (sugar-sweetened) sodas, fruit punch, or iced tea.
The researchers did take into account factors that could affect the results, such as age, sex, education, smoking status, physical activity, body mass index, and energy intake, but it is possible that other unmeasured factors such as having a family history of depression or having experienced stressful life events could explain the increased depression rates.

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