Three months after the Dean of the University of Minnesota Medical School, Dr. Deborah Powell, joined the board of PepsiAmericas, controversy continues over her dual roles. Senior vice president for health sciences at the university Frank Cerra defended Powell's role to Pioneer Press reporter Paul Tosto: "What better way to get knowledge about obesity into the company than by bringing it into the boardroom?" The company, which has revenues of $3.7 billion, describes itself as "the world's second-largest manufacturer, seller and distributor of PepsiCo beverages." Robert Jeffery, a director of the Obesity Prevention Center at the university, said Powell's appointment flagged the need for a "more serious conversation about where the ethical lines lie in corporate consulting." Michele Simon, the author of "Appetite for Profit," is critical of Powell's appointment: "When an expert joins this kind of board, clearly it's going to compromise their [the university's] ability to speak out."
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