The New York Time recently published an article reporting that lead researchers on a $100 million study of the effects of moderate alcohol consumption had extensive discussions with the alcohol industry prior to securing their sponsorship.
The article noted that scientists and officials from the National Institute of Health (NIH) undertook a campaign to “obtain funding from the alcohol industry for research that may enshrine alcohol as a part of a healthy diet.”
A few days later, the New York Times followed up its initial story by reporting that NIH is now investigating “whether health officials violated federal policy against soliciting donations when they met with alcohol companies to discuss funding a study of the benefits of moderate drinking.”
The Times reports that Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D, NIH Director will assemble a group of outside experts to “review the design and scientific methodology of the 10-year government trial, which is already underway.” The review may also determine if the alcohol industry is not just interested in funding research that will help promote its products, but is also possibly funding journalism organizations whose members will be reporting on this research.
Interestingly, Wired Magazine also raised questions about the role of beverage companies in the planning of the study in October, 2017.