In this week's Health Blog, the Wall Street Journal's Katherine Hobson asks readers to chime in on a "debate" among family doctors over the ethics of corporate sponsorship of medicine.
But first, the backdrop. Last year, the American Academy of Family Physicians announced "a new corporate partnership program" and its first partner was to be The Coca-Cola Company. Soon thereafter, about 20 doctors resigned from the organization in protest, drawing attention to the matter by Food Politics author Marion Nestle as well as advocacy groups such as the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood. (Full disclosure: I serve on CCFC's steering committee.)
The grant amount was described as being in the "strong six figures" by AAFP. Here is how the group described the partnership in its October 2009 press release:
The Consumer Alliance is a program that allows corporate partners like The Coca-Cola Company to work with the AAFP to educate consumers about the role their products can play in a healthy, active lifestyle. As part of this partnership, The Coca-Cola Company is providing a grant to the AAFP to develop consumer education content on beverages and sweeteners for FamilyDoctor.org, an award-winning consumer health and wellness resource.