Saturday February 16, 2019
Home Lead Story US Cancels A ...

US Cancels A Planned Alcohol Study Over Trust Issues

NIH Director Francis Collins temporarily suspended the study

0
//
A photo made with a fisheye lens shows bottles of alcohol in a liquor store in Salt Lake City. The National Institutes of Health said Friday that it was canceling a study of moderate drinking's health benefits because the results could not be trusted. Beer and liquor companies were helping to underwrite it.
This June 16, 2016, file photo, taken with a fisheye lens, shows bottles of alcohol during a tour of a state liquor store, in Salt Lake City. Cheap liquor, wine and beer have long been best-sellers among Utah alcohol drinkers, but new numbers from Utah's tightly-controlled liquor system show local craft brews, trendy box wines and flavored whiskies are also popular choices in a largely teetotaler state. VOA

The U.S. government is shutting down a planned study testing whether moderate drinking has health benefits over concerns that its funding by the alcohol industry would compromise its credibility.

The National Institutes of Health said Friday that the results of the planned $100 million study could not be trusted because of the secretive way that employees negotiated with beer and liquor companies to underwrite the effort.

Government officials say it is legal to use industry money to pay for government research as long as all rules are followed. However, in this case, NIH officials say employees did not follow proper procedures, including keeping their interactions with industry officials secret.

NIH Deputy Director Lawrence Tabak said the interactions between the employees and industry representatives appeared to “intentionally bias” the study so that it would have a better chance to conclude that moderate drinking is beneficial.

An NIH review panel was also concerned that the study’s proposed span of 10 years was too short a time period to adequately test the potential problems of a daily drink, such as an increased risk of cancer or heart failure.

Red wine
Red wine, Pixabay

NIH Director Francis Collins temporarily suspended the study last month after reporting by The New York Times first raised questions about the funding policy violations. Collins said Friday that he was completely shutting down the research.

“This is a matter of the greatest seriousness,’’ he said.

The study had planned to track two groups of people, one group drinking a glass of alcohol a day and another abstaining from alcohol. The study had planned to compare new cases of cardiovascular disease and the rate of new cases of diabetes among participants.

Some of the world’s largest alcoholic beverage makers, including Anheuser-Busch InBev and Heineken, had contributed to the study, although Anheuser-Busch InBev had recently withdrawn its contribution.

The NIH said of the $67.7 million raised from private donations, nearly all from the alcohol industry, $11.8 million, had been spent for the study.

Also read: New Link Found Between Alcohol, Genes And Heart Failure

The NIH’s National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) had planned to spend $20 million of its own money for the study. It said $4 million had been spent.(VOA)

Next Story

The Craft of Distilling Is Ancient, Different Story Behind Every Bottle

The craft of distilling is very ancient and recipes have been handed down generations. To me, food and spirits are very culture-centric and each dish or drink is an experience of this culture and have a lot of story to it.

0
bottle
The aim is for the curated audience to meet curated brands and learn about their stories. We consciously wanted to create a small, well-curated festival that encourages such conversations amongst the visitors," Prakash elaborated. Pixabay

Every bottle of alcohol has a tale to tell and to celebrate this, over 20 international masters, distillers, mixologists and story tellers will gather in Mumbai over the weekend on a platform that celebrates the craft of distillers and distilleries. It will also be a rite of passage for the new consumer who is open to experiencing luxury beverages that are a product of passion and commitment and are produced in small batches, without any compromise on quality.

“Every bottle has a tale, waiting to be shared – of its founder, of the distiller, of the wood in which it lay, of the people who built the spirit, of the mixologist who decided to `play’ with it and more. Listen, learn and celebrate the people behind the spirits,” Keshav Prakash, who began his career as an advertising filmmaker and then travelled the world to discover the world of fine spirts, told IANS of The Vault Biennale at the Mahalakshmi Race Course.

“The craft of distilling is very ancient and recipes have been handed down generations. To me, food and spirits are very culture-centric and each dish or drink is an experience of this culture and have a lot of story to it.

“For example, making whiskey is a tradition native to Scotland, much like rum to the Caribbean, Mezcal to the Mexico and so on. These are parts of their values and teachings handed over from generation to generation, with much love and celebration, making it an intrinsic part of a living culture,” Prakash explained.

bottle
will also be a rite of passage for the new consumer who is open to experiencing luxury beverages that are a product of passion and commitment and are produced in small batches, without any compromise on quality. Pixabay

The event is open to only 400 aficionados each day.

“We envision two kinds of visitors at the Biennale – one who are newly immersing themselves in fine spirits and others who know their single malt, gin, whiskey etc. The aim is for the curated audience to meet curated brands and learn about their stories. We consciously wanted to create a small, well-curated festival that encourages such conversations amongst the visitors,” Prakash elaborated.

Also Read: The Unconventional Way of Learning: Textbooks Come Alive in Gujarat’s Schools
What will be on offer?

Over 50 handpicked fine beverage brands like Kilchoman Machir Bay, Rémy Martin, Cotswolds Gin, and Amrut Peated Port Pipe. Leading the audience will be mixologists from World’s 50 Best Bars, among them Hiroyasu Kayama of Tokyo, Alex Simonidis & Georgia Georgakopoulou of Athens and Jose Luis Leon of Mexico City. (IANS)