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Nutrition adviser under fire over industry links

One of Britain's most influential institutions on diet and health has come under fire over its close links to the food industry.

The British Nutrition Foundation, established more than 40 years ago, advises the Government, schools, industry, health professionals and the public.

Its website says that it exists to deliver “authoritative, evidence-based information on food and nutrition” and aims to be “world class in the interpretation and translation of complex science.”

However, the organisation's 39 members, which contribute to its funding, include — beside the Government and the EU — Cadbury, Kellogg's, Northern Foods, McDonald's, PizzaExpress, main supermarket chains except Tesco, and producer bodies such as the Potato Council.

Critics say the foundation's dependence on the food industry is reflected in its support for the views promoted by industry and that it is not fully transparent about its funding.

Sara Stanner, the foundation's science programme manager, said: “We are not pressurised, commercially or politically, to be selective in the repertoire of nutrition topics we address.”

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