The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has announced it is ending a study on the benefits and risks of moderate alcohol consumption, in light of questions about industry funding for the study.
The NIH concluded the agency’s staff had improperly interacted with alcoholic beverage companies to get funding, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Alcohol companies including Anheuser-Busch, Heineken, Diageo and Pernod Ricard had agreed to pay for most of the $100 million study through donations to a private foundation that raises money for the NIH. The NIH’s National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) oversaw the study.
An advisory board to NIH Director Francis Collins concluded NIAAA officials “appear to have intentionally biased the framing of the scientific premise” of the study to focus on possible benefits of alcohol.