(Mirror Daily, United States) – A major drinking study that was funded by Big Alcohol had to be shut down by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for its questionable findings.
The controversy comes in the midst of reports that some NIH officials asked funding from the industry to complete the study.
NIH Director Francis Collins recently told the press that the agency has strong policies when it comes to its employees’ conduct. NIH employees are reportedly barred from receiving gifts and rig grant competitions.
We take very seriously any violations of these standards,
The agency launched a probe into the study’s findings following a disturbing report by the New York Times showing that some NIH officials lobbied the industry to give funds for the study. In return, those officials promised to reach the conclusion that moderate drinking is healthy.
The Study to Be Shut Down Soon
On Friday, the agency published an internal report, which revealed that those officials infringed the agency’s policies and stifled fair competition for research funding. NIH promised to “take appropriate personnel actions”. It refused, though, to comment on the personnel matters.
The report revealed that the officials courted Big Alcohol in a way that appeared to convince the industry to shell the necessary cash for the randomized clinical trial. The trial tried to find whether one serving of alcohol per day would prevent the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
NIH researchers noted that past studies have found that moderate drinking could lead to unexpected health benefits. The agency will shut down the study “within the next few months,” as the group is working on an “orderly closeout.”
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse & Alcoholism, moderate drinkers should consume up to three drinks per day if they are women and up to four drinks per day if they are men.
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