Beef with Harvard

  • John Sharp, chancellor of Texas A&M University, sent a public letter of complaint to Harvard University president Lawrence Bacow addressing disagreements over beef consumption between researchers at both institutions.
  • The letter cites a recent article in JAMAaccusing Harvard public health researchers of attempting to force another journal to pull papers questioning longstanding guidance on beef consumption.
  • Sharp’s letter also shares an image supposedly used by Walter Willett, Harvard’s professor of epidemiology and nutrition, accusing Texas A&M and Patrick Stover, a vice chancellor and dean of agriculture and life sciences at Texas and co-author of the meat study, of having ties with “big beef.”
  • Sharp denies the accusation and hopes the institutions can work together to resolve the problem. He also suggests that Harvard assess its relationship with True Health and complete a review of Harvard faculty involved in the matter.
  • True Health is an organization for which Willett and his Harvard public health colleague Frank Hu sit on the governing council. The True Health initiative focuses on healthy lifestyles and preventable diseases globally.
  • Sharp stands behind Texas A&M’s research and assures that it is driven by only science. He believes Harvard and True Health’s attempt to discredit the research interferes with the scientific process.