Government pitches research project to liquor companies with promise to prove moderate alcohol consumption is healthy

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is supposed to lead the nation in federally funded, independent research, but through the NIH Foundation, the Institutes often receive industry funding for specific projects. From 2013- 2014, NIH scientists travelled to the Beer Institute Convention, the Distilled Spirits Council, and other alcohol industry groups, looking for $100 million for a clinical trial trial studying the health effects of moderate alcohol consumption. In these presentations, NIH officials strongly suggested that the $100 million study would show favorable results from moderate drinking. The study was shut down in June 2018 after an internal investigation found that study investigators were in close, frequent contact with alcohol industry executives while designing the study.

SOURCES: Roni Caryn Rabin, The New York Times, and follow-up piece in The Times

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