Petition to David Feinberg
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Dear David Feinberg:
We are deeply concerned about the paid research conducted at UCLA Medical Center that was used to promote unsubstantiated health claims made by POM Wonderful for its commercial interests. As you know, the FTC recently ruled that POM must stop making unsubstantiated health claims in its advertisements after reviewing the “studies” that POM relied on. Many of these “studies” reviewed by the FTC were conducted at UCLA Medical Center.
We are disturbed that UCLA faculty served as the Medical Director for POM and wrote blogs for POM Wonderful’s website. It is similarly objectionable that you are on the payroll of POM’s owners, pocketing over $100,000 as their “consultant/advisor.” Public universities’ resources and name recognition should not be sold to the highest bidder for the personal profit of university executives.
Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. The study you co-authored on Paxil was used to market the antidepressant to kids and adolescents until federal regulators prosecuted the company. In addition, you put profits before patients, collecting a $1.4 million salary while short-staffing UCLA hospitals.
We demand that donate all the money you’ve received from POM Wonderful’s owners towards student scholarships. Given your exorbitant salary and your annual compensation of nearly $530,000 from corporate board directorships, this will not create any hardship for you. We also demand that you strengthen conflict-of-interest policies to preclude any possibility that UCLA executives, scientists, or other staff can personally profit from companies that seek contractual relationships with UCLA at the expense of the public good.
Please address these demands in writing and post them publicly. We look forward to your response.
Cc: UC Regents