• U.S.

The AMA Seal of Approval

1 minute read
Jenifer Mattos

WASHINGTON: Are you comfortable with doctors getting paid to stamp their endorsement on a thermometer? The American Medical Association, the nation’s largest organization of doctors, and Sunbeam Corp. signed an exclusive five-year contract to put the AMA seal on Sunbeam products such as blood-pressure monitors and heating pads. In turn, the AMA gets a cut of the action.

Sound dicey? TIME medical writer Christine Gorman says the deal may have already devalued the seal: “It’s when money is changing hands that we start questioning the ethics behind this kind of agreement.” Gorman notes that some years ago the American Heart Association launched a more ambitious endorsement plan, only to scrap it because it was too controversial. So who do you turn to for unbiased product information? Try Consumer Reports, which rejects endorsement deals, says Gorman.

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