The American Diabetes Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among others, have received sponsorships from soda companies, according to a recent study. This news raises eyebrows as people continue to learn about the impact of industry on public health.

Medical ethicist Art Caplan joins Jim and Margery to talk about this issue, noting that the results of the study have taken people by surprise.

“You get big conflicts of interest arising out there that we don’t necessarily fully understand,” he said. “People hadn’t realized what the connections were, but they are there.”

Caplan explained that sometimes health groups are forced to take sponsorships from companies if their causes are especially obscure. He also noted that the hand of industry in public health extends beyond financial support.

“Occasionally, not only is industry giving the money, but industry sits on the boards,” said Caplan.

He also said that disclosures of conflicts of interest are not necessarily enough, since they can go unread by the public. According to Caplan, people should continue to think critically about the influence of industries on health research.

“You want to ask a question before you donate,” he said. “‘What percentage of your money comes from industry?’”

Medical Ethicist Art Caplan is Head of the Division of Medical Ethics at NYU Langone Medical Center ad the co-host of the  Everyday Ethics podcast. To hear more of his interview with BPR, click on the audio link above.