Organic Consumers Association

Campaigning for health, justice, sustainability, peace, and democracy
Cook Organic not the Planet Campaign

Nutrition Research Is Deeply Biased by Food Companies. A New Book Explains Why.

The food industry has borrowed from the tobacco industry when it comes to distorting science.

Consider the foods you’d like to think of as healthy. Do they include antioxidant-rich chocolate bars? Or immune system-boosting juice? Or maybe “superfoods” like pomegranate granola bars? 

Turns out our beliefs about how nutritious these products are is increasingly shaped by scientific research dreamed up and paid for by major food companies and interest groups. 

Take chocolate: Over the past 30 years, Nestle, MarsBarry Callebaut, and Hershey — among the world’s biggest producers of chocolate — have poured millions of dollars into scientific studies and research grants that support cocoa science.

Here at Vox, we examined 100 Mars-funded studies last year and found they overwhelmingly drew glowing conclusions about cocoa and chocolate — promoting everything from chocolate’s heart health benefits to cocoa’s ability to fight disease.

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