I have been told that the partnership between ABC International and Monash and was struck late last year, before any involvement of Swisse Wellness Pty Ltd.
Regardless, I am disappointed that Swisse has been added to the mix. Swisse have an unenviable reputation for marketing their products, both in Australia and internationally. Their sales success reflect the large amount of money they spend on marketing hype and the use of celebrities, not on science. Indeed, Swisse have had many upheld complaints for misusing scientific claims such as “clinically proven” and “clinically tested”. Their advertising claims have also been the subject of a number of satirical segments on the ABC Checkout program.
In 2013-4 Swisse sought a research partnership with a number of Australian universities; all but one resisted on the grounds that, while such an association might give Swisse a fig-leaf of respectability, it would not reflect well on the reputation of the university involved.
Finally, I point out that my appointment as an Adjunct Associate Professor at Monash University is unpaid, my substantial involvement with students and staff is done Pro Bono and my views regarding Swisse and their partnership with ABC International are obviously my own and do not reflect the views of Monash University.