Big Pasta

Pasta’s good for you (say pasta companies)

How much should big companies get involved with research that helps them sell stuff?

This month we found out eating pasta is actually good for us. Now we can't be so sure.

What it means: Pasta's got itself a bit of a bad rep. Fashion for high-protein, low-carb diets means those delicious lumps of pure carb have fallen out of favour. It's bad news for us, and bad news for pasta manufacturers. Until halleluljah! A piece of research was published linking eating pasta to weight loss. It went viral on a couple of news sites. We all rejoiced.

What the news sites didn't report is that three of the scientists involved in the research had 'financial conflicts-of-interest' – which basically means they may have been getting a few bucks for saying the right things (right according to the person paying them).

One of them was linked to one of the world's biggest pasta companies, Barilla. According to Buzzfeed, Barilla has outright paid for at least 10 studies which talk about the benefits of eating pasta. Barilla also sponsors big scientific conferences about nutrition and pasta.

The question here isn't about whether or not pasta is good for you (in fact, lots of very trusty people think it is in moderation) – it's about how much influence big businesses should have over research when their primary aim isn't to make us healthier, it's just to sell more stuff.

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Reader Comments

  • WhereAreTheVikings

    What a terrible, terrible shame. Western Civilization nurtured capitalism, and now capitalism is destroying it. And these young people seem to welcome the invasion of their homeland. The media and schools have been very efficient in wiping out all traces of blood and soil.

    • prollawalllynotahumanoid

      Capitalism isn’t the problem. It’s corrupt politicians taking bribes and kickbacks from Globalists and the Chinese.

      • WhereAreTheVikings

        Maybe I should have said crony capitalism. Although Italians importing Chinese to make “Italian leather” shoes is not crony capitalism. It is capitalism, pure and simple.

        • prollawalllynotahumanoid

          That would be crony capitalism and globalism combined. They aren’t concerned with the affect their policies have upon their citizens, the health and welfare of their society and culture or their economy. What it isn’t is fair-free trade to further national interests.

          • WhereAreTheVikings

            I’ve always seen them as one and the same, but perhaps they need to be named individually, just to bring home the point.

      • WhereAreTheVikings

        But now that travel is so easy and borders are virtually down through H1bs and the like, theoretically you can’t blame capitalists for the pursuit of cheaper labor, although I do heartily blame them not being more patriotic than that. Perhaps the emerging nationalism will force them to voluntarily do what they should have morally been doing all along, and that is employing business practices that preserve their countries and nationalities. The government should be doing everything it can to encourage that, to the extent that small government should do anything but guard the borders and strictly, drastically, limit immigration.

      • Henry Lam

        It is China with its corrupted mindset affecting the world.

        • prollawalllynotahumanoid

          No it is not. Capitalism is the fairest and least corrupt system of all.

          Socialism and communism is based on authoritarianism, coercion and police intimidation. It has and always will be rife with criminality, bribes and kickbacks.

          Corruption can be anywhere but it is the very basis of socialism and communism.

    • Henry Lam

      The government is too weak. They do not understand the mindset of communists and how they educate their people. Those communist people are only loyal to their country and could be dangerous. The immigration law should only accept those who accepted multiculturalism and taught from a democratic education system. This virus events clearly has shown how stupid to take China as a friend.

      • WhereAreTheVikings

        The government is not too weak. Just weak-minded about some things.

  • Gabi Rodrigues

    For how many days can a country maximum close their borders to foreigners maximum? Like now, with the virus, everyone is using 30 days. Can it be more?