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A U.S. lawmaker wants the federal government to probe potential conflicts of interest held by members of a panel created to set dietary guidelines after learning one panelist was a paid consultant to a drug company that sells weight loss treatments.

In January, the federal health and agriculture departments formed the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee to generate a report that provides advice on meeting dietary needs, promoting health, and preventing disease. The 20 members of the panel are academics and physicians who have backgrounds in nutrition and public health.


But one panelist — Fatima Cody Stanford, an obesity specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston — was also paid nearly $27,000 for consulting and speaking by Novo Nordisk and another $2,250 by Eli Lilly in recent years, according to a federal government database. Novo Nordisk sells two weight loss treatments and Lilly is awaiting approval from the Food and Drug Administration to market another.

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