The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are toughening their financial conflict-of-interest policies after publishing reports that some critics have said are tainted by undisclosed corporate influences.
The 154-year-old scientific academy, chartered by Congress during the Lincoln administration, has long enjoyed a reputation as a top-quality producer of in-depth, impartial academic analyses on a range of national policy questions.
But that reputation has been challenged by complaints about two reports — one on medical pain relief and another on genetically modified organisms — whose authors’ ties to industry were not made clear.
“The idea that we need to do this has just gained more and more traction” in the last couple of years, said James F. Hinchman, deputy executive officer of the National Research Council, the research arm of the National Academies, of the planned review.
That position marked a shift from [March 2017], when the National Academies dismissed an outside analysis of a May 2016 report on genetically engineered crops as an unfair rejection of “our tested and trusted conflict-of-interest policies.”
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