According to a documentary, major medical organizations accept millions of dollars in donations from sponsors such as junk food companies and pharmaceutical corporations (video below).
The documentary "What the Health" notes that the American Cancer Society promotes processed meat on its website, the American Diabetes Association plugs foods that are linked to diabetes such as "bacon-wrapped shrimp," the American Heart Association pushes hamburgers, and the Susan G. Komen Foundation advertises dairy products.
According to the documentary, the corporate donors of these medical associations include junk food companies such as Dannon Yogurt (American Diabetes Association), Domino's (American Heart Association), KFC (American Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen), Kraft (American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association), Oscar Mayer (American Diabetes Association), Pizza Hut (American Cancer Society), Tyson Chicken (American Cancer Society, American Heart Association) and Yoplait Yogurt (Susan G. Komen).
The American Cancer Society, the American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association also receive funding from pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer, Merck, Lilly, Johnson & Johnson, and Abbott, which reportedly rake in billions of dollars by marketing medications for the very diseases that the medical groups are trying to fight, notes AlterNet.
"What the Health" alleges that the health organizations are financially corrupted by food industries "that are causing the problems" and argues that the drug industry has a "huge stake in preserving the status quo" of unhealthy Americans who have to take drugs for health conditions that are caused by the food companies.
Dr. Robert Ratner, chief scientific and medical officer of the American Diabetes Association, told the filmmakers that the American Diabetes Association's mission was to cure diabetes and to improve the lives of people affected by diabetes.
Ratner insisted that the American Diabetes Association does not recommend a specific diet, but does recommend "healthy eating." When asked about the meal plans on the American Diabetes Association website, Ratner said those were actually "selections of foods to consider."
The doctor would not comment on a study published by the National Institute of Health's website that reportedly showed that a low-fat plant-based diet was better than a food selection promoted by the American Diabetes Association's website.
Ratner abruptly ended the interview when he was asked about studies of diets, which he considered to be an "argument."
In addition to regulating food safety, the USDA helps the meat and dairy industries market their products, as described on the USDA's website:
USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) oversees the research and promotion programs, which are led by boards of small and large producers, importers and other commodity stakeholders. Board members, nominated by the industry and appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture, bring a wealth of diverse perspectives and backgrounds to the programs.
Their experience with a variety of operation sizes, production methods, distribution options, and marketing strategies all contribute to the common goal of promoting their commodity to more consumers.