Coca-Cola reveals $1.7 million spending on health research in Australia

Coca-Cola has released details of its $1.7 million funding on health research in Australia and all the groups it has supported over the past five years.

The SMH reports that the soft drink giant promised to publish this information two weeks ago, following a revelation by Fairfax that the company had failed to reveal it.

The full list of 36 organisations included the University of Sydney, Nutrition Society of Australia, Ted Noffs Foundation, Bicycle Network, Sports Medicine Australia, University of Queensland, police citizen youth clubs, Australian Paralympic Committee and the Exercise is Medicine Project.

American Anti-sugar campaigner Professor Marion Nestle told the ABC that, because of evidence that sugar is a major cause of obesity, organisations which research obesity run the risk of compromising their integrity if they receive funding from soft drink makers.

"If they are doing research on diet and health then the Coca-Cola funding is going to make them look as if they are working for the company. I don't think that's good for their independence or their research," she told the ABC.

"Many of these studies look like they are just there to make it easier for the company to make health claims for its products."

Professor Stephen Simpson, one of Australia's leaders in obesity research, told the ABC industry funding should be made through an industry future fund.

"What that would be, would be a substantial fund to which the industry contributes, but that's the end of their relationship," he said.

Coca-Cola said in its disclosure that it does not "have the right to prevent publication of the research results" or "provide funding conditioned on the outcome of the research".

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