A US$1m grant being given by the soft drinks giant, Coca-Cola Co., to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, has sparked controversy.

Critics say accepting the donation from the soft drinks producer will cause a conflict of interest for the group, given that consumption of carbonated soft drinks is often cited as a prime cause of tooth decay in children.

The group said that the grant would go towards supporting research and that Coca-Cola would not be able to dictate the kind of research it is funding or its outcomes.