The conflict-of-interest policy of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (www.nationalacademies.org/coi) prohibits the appointment of an individual to a committee like the one that authored this Consensus Study Report if the individual has a conflict of interest that is relevant to the task to be performed. An exception to this prohibition is permitted only if the National Academies determine that the conflict is unavoidable and the conflict is promptly and publicly disclosed.
When the committee that authored this report was established a determination of whether there was a conflict of interest was made for each committee member given the individual’s circumstances and the task being undertaken by the committee. A determination that an individual has a conflict of interest is not an assessment of that individual’s actual behavior or character or ability to act objectively despite the conflicting interest.
Dr. Jamy Ard was determined to have a conflict of interest because in addition to his academic appointments, he serves as medical director for a medical food-based program that is owned by a company in the food industry.
Dr. Susan Roberts was determined to have a conflict of interest because she serves as chief scientific advisor and shareholder of a weight management company.
Dr. Barbara Schneeman was determined to have a conflict of interest because she serves on two scientific advisory councils in the food and agriculture industries.
In each case, the National Academies determined that the experience and expertise of the individuals were needed for the committee to accomplish the task for which it was established. The National Academies could not find other available individuals with the equivalent experience and expertise who did not have conflicts of interest. Therefore, the National Academies concluded that the conflicts were unavoidable and publicly disclosed them through the National Academies Current Projects System (www8.nationalacademies.org/cp).