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NIH to investigate funding process of massive moderate alcohol consumption study

The National Institutes of Health has announced its intent to investigate the circumstances and ethics of the funding process of a moderate alcohol consumption study that scientists have asked spirits and beer companies to fund.

According to documents obtained in 2014 by Wine Industry Insight, the Wine Institute was solicited for support but declined to participate.

The NIH investigation has taken almost four years to begin, and is the result of articles by Wine Industry Insight and the New York Times.

Wine Industry Insight reveals fund solicitation meeting

On Feb 28, 2014, WII was the first to report that the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) was soliciting funds from the alcoholic beverage industry — US Govt Asking Industry To Fund Most Of $50 Million Alcohol/Health Study.

That study, a massive, multi-year investigation, is now headed by Kenneth J. Mukamal, an Associate Professor of Medicine and General Internist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

Two and a half years later, WII’s article was picked up and expanded upon by the NY Times.

2017: Wine Industry Insight shares premium article with the New York Times

In the fall of 2017, Wine Industry Insight received a request from the New York Times and shared the full text of its premium article.

Details of study released, examined in detail

Subsequently, the details of the study were available online by the NIH and formed the basis for two additional articles from Wine Industry Insight:

NY Times publishes update of WII article

On March 17, 2018, the New York Times published a piece with updated details on the solicitation of industry funds by NIH scientists — Federal Agency Courted Alcohol Industry to Fund Study on Benefits of Moderate Drinking