Thursday, 16 April 2009


Recent discussion of how funding sources influence published results remind me to share a conflict of interest statement, short as it is.

I earn my keep teaching at Tufts University, which is a financial interest sufficiently strong that I could be influenced by it in covering any U.S. food policy issues that affected university interests.

Grant proposals I have written bring in some external funding to my employer, mostly from USDA. These research funds do not affect my salary, but they are viewed favorably by my employer and could affect my long term career prospects. They could suffice to make me write more delicately on some USDA topics, but I do my best to be impartial.

For report refereeing or small research tasks, I have received $2,000 or less from USDA, University of Michigan, Research Triangle Institute, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, and Simmons College. I believe these honoraria do not influence my writing.

I have biases on many topics in U.S. food policy, mostly but not uniformly in a liberal or progressive direction, sometimes in a mainstream economics direction. These biases originate from long deliberation, not financial interest, and I do my best to remain impartial and fair.

The blog itself accepts no advertising and gets no funding, nor does it have any expenses. I accept no product samples, and have not even accepted free books to review.

Nobody asked, but it seems good policy to share such information before being asked.

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