Expert Report?

By Staff

In Medical/Injuries, Nutrition

February 24, 2016

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The very best of Richard A. Kahn, author of a 60-page report supporting the American Beverage Association’s lawsuit against San Francisco.

On Jan. 12, Richard A. Kahn gave a 60-page expert report as part of the American Beverage Association (ABA) lawsuit seeking to strike down a City of San Francisco ordinance that requires ads for sugar-sweetened beverages to include health-warning language.

Kahn is the former chief scientific and medical officer of the American Diabetes Association. He was also a board member for Smart Choices, a now-defunct food-industry-backed group whose goal was “developing a single, trusted symbol that could help consumers make smarter food and beverage choices.”

In 2009, the Smart Choices checkmark was affixed to Froot Loops and Cocoa Krispies, among other products.

On Feb. 23, attorneys for the City and County of San Francisco opposed the ABA’s motion for a preliminary injunction. The filing—which included reports from professors at Harvard Medical School, the University of California-San Francisco and the University of Waterloo—specifically questioned Kahn’s expertise:

“Dr. Kahn’s opinions should be taken with more than a few grains of salt. His CV discloses little original research or clinical experience in the field of SSBs (sugar-sweetened beverages) and obesity or diabetes. … His opinions are contrary to the current views of his former employer, the American Diabetes Association, which has endorsed a mandatory warning that drinking SSBs contributes to obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay, … and which recommends that people at risk for diabetes ‘avoid sugar-sweetened beverages.’ … Dr. Kahn’s views on nutrition thus seem unlikely to reflect those of mainstream nutrition scientists.”

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