THE NUTRITION SOCIETY’S CODE OF ACCEPTANCE FOR CORPORATE SPONSORSHIP
The Nutrition Society of Sri Lanka plays an important role in reaching out to health and other professionals as well as the public. The members of the NSSL are active in providing health information and nutrition counseling for the public, guide nutrition research in the country, and are in the forefront of informing policy and advocacy on nutrition matters in Sri Lanka. The society is committed to providing accurate and relevant information on varied nutrition issues.
For- profit entities that develop, produce and market drugs, nutrition supplements and other foods including milk foods who will be known as companies in this code henceforth, also strive to improve the quality of life of the public. Other sponsors such as INGOs will be referred to as INGO’s/NGO’s.
The members of the society and the general public expect the Nutrition society to be an authoritative, independent voice in nutrition science with minimal conflict of interest. Public confidence in the objectivity of the society is crucial for the continuation of the Nutrition society.
The society’s interactions with companies take the form of receiving contributions/grants for programme activities, travel grants for attendance at meetings/conferences and research grants. In all these interactions, the Nutrition society is committed to acting with integrity and transparency. Therefore, the society has developed clear guidelines for acceptance of sponsorship and relationships with sponsors.
Guidelines and code of practice in sponsorship
The Nutrition society will enter into relationships with sponsors that only act in the best interests of the public with regard to nutrition.
The society will make every effort to ensure that the activities of sponsoring corporations are not inconsistent with the objectives of the society and will have policies in place to ensure ethical screening of potential sponsors.
The Nutrition society will develop all educational activities, scientific programs, products, services and advocacy positions independent of company influence and will develop and adopt policies and procedures that foster independence.
The society will not enter into any sponsorship that could be perceived as product endorsement.
Corporate sponsorships will be non exclusive if the relationship could create the impression of product endorsement.
The use of all funds must be at the discretion of the Nutrition society council.
The society will demonstrate accountability to all donors by ensuring that contributions are used for the purpose that was intended by the contributing corporation/sponsor.
The society will disclose all company support it received during the financial year and make this information available to members.
Sponsorship of meetings/conferences/workshops and seminars
In addition to the general guidelines which will be followed by the society in accepting sponsorship of any type,
The society will not seek support for product specific topics in workshops, conferences or seminars.
The society will allow placement of the name or logo of a company on educational or non educational items such as files, bags notebooks etc provided they do not contravene the code of practice for advertisement of nutritional and food products.
The society will not solicit or entertain sponsors suggestions regarding program topics, speakers or content.
The society will prohibit presenters from using company controlled presentation materials and using slides with company logos.
The society will only allow company giveaways that are educational and modest in value.
The society’s policies on corporate exhibits
The tone of the exhibit hall should be professional in nature.
The society will not place the name or logos of companies within the area of a scientific/research forum.
Exhibits/activities in booths and stalls should be conducted in a professional manner and should not contravene any regulations of the food act of the Government of Sri Lanka.
Nutrition society council members or key personnel may not participate as leaders or presenters in company professional /marketing events held in the exhibit spaces.
Research or travel grants
The society will not permit companies to select recipients of research grants when funds have been given to the society for distribution.
The selection of grantees will be at the discretion of the council, and the council shall have its criteria of selection for each research/travel or other grants.