Anti-Banting researcher investigated
The Medical Research Council will investigate allegations that a senior employee teamed up with "big sugar" lobbyists to discredit Banting-diet champion Tim Noakes.
The employee, Ali Dhansay, in a recent investigation in the US, was found to be linked to the International Life Sciences Institute, described as "a Coca-Cola proxy".
Dhansay was president of the South African division of the institute in 2013 and worked with Coca-Cola, Mars and Nestlé.
The council has distanced itself from Dhansay's evidence at Noakes's disciplinary hearing before the Health Professions' Council. It said it would investigate his alleged links to the sugar industry.
Aziel Gangerdine, the council's spokesman, said they would investigate "Professor Dhansay's position in his capacity as president of [the institute] and the funding thereof; any association of research conducted in the field of nutrition, obesity and lifestyle with funding or support from the sugar-beverage food industry; any association by way of expert opinion or scientific advice in the field of nutrition, obesity and lifestyle to the sugar-beverage food industry."
The institute said it "has never been part of any discussion related to professor Noakes or his recommendations ".