You can’t believe everything the food industry funds

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Via sciencealert.com, something we’ve always suspected:

“The food industry has their fingers all over our nutrition research. According to a new analysis, one out of every eight leading, peer-reviewed studies on nutrition is tied to business.

“Even worse, this conflict of interest, although acknowledged explicitly within the scientific journals, tends to produce results that favour business, and potentially with misleading consequences.

“This study found that the food industry is commonly involved in published research from leading nutrition journals,” researchers write.

“Where the food industry is involved, research findings are nearly six times more likely to be favourable to their interests than when there is no food industry involvement.”

“As far as the authors know, this is the first systematic review on the extent and nature of food industry involvement in peer-reviewed research. Similar studies focusing on industry involvement have produced mixed results, but far more research is needed.”

U.S. Supreme Court rules against pharmacy benefit managers

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This seems like a good ruling. I’ll post more as I see it:

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday ruled 8-0 that states have broad powers to regulate powerful pharmacy middlemen without being preempted by federal law.

The case was brought by the $400-billion-a-year industry, known as “pharmacy benefit managers,” against the state of Arkansas over a 2015 law that set a minimum, market-based rate the middlemen had to reimburse pharmacists for the drugs they dispensed.

More than 70% of the industry is controlled by three corporations: CVS Caremark, Express Scripts and OptumRx. 

Its critics say those companies are often in direct competition with retail pharmacies and they use obscure, anti-competitive reimbursement practices to underpay them. This has resulted in driving many community pharmacists out of business and depriving many small communities of pharmacy access, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge argued.

The U.S. Solicitor General and 46 other state attorneys general signed up to help defend Rutledge in the case brought against her by the PBM industry group, the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association.

It’s only okay if you’re a Republican

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Remember what they kept saying whenever Trump nominated some random unqualified person? “The new president should get to pick the team he wants!” The same rules don’t apply to Democrats:

<blockquote>Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Brendan Carr admitted in an interview this week that he wants the agency to be deadlocked to “forestall” Democrats pursuing their agenda.

While President-elect Joe Biden will be able to choose the chairperson of the agency, the announcement by Chairman Ajit Pai that he will step down on Inauguration Day and Senate Republicans pushing through a controversial FCC pick by President Donald Trump has created a scenario where the FCC could be locked in a 2-2 partisan tie to begin Biden’s tenure in the White House.

Earlier this week, the Senate Commerce Committee voted 14-12 to move the nomination of Nathan Simington to a full vote in the Senate. Simington has been a controversial choice to be appointed to the FCC because of his connections to Trump’s social media executive order that targets Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

If the Senate votes to confirm Simington, it would leave the FCC with two Republicans and two Democrats. The FCC is supposed to have five members, with three from the president’s party and two from the opposing party.

However, if Republicans keep control of the Senate after Georgia’s runoff elections, they could stall a vote for Biden’s pick to fill out the agency. A partisan deadlock would mean any party-line votes—such as restoring net neutrality rules—would be highly unlikely from happening.</blockquote>