Tuesday, April 5, 2016

University withdraws chocolate milk study

The University of Maryland has dumped a research report that claims a co-operative’s brand of chocolate milk helped high school football players recover from concussions.

The research was part of an initiative to partner with businesses to conduct university research.

The university said it is reviewing its research procedures as a result, and deleting press releases about Fifth Quarter's milk from its website. It is also returning $228,910 provided by the company and a co-op of milk producers.

The moves come after the school faced a backlash for a questionable press release that it issued in December. The release said a preliminary study showed Fifth Quarter's milk helped improve the cognitive and motor functions of high school football players, even after suffering concussions.

The announcement sparked criticism because it touted a specific brand, and appeared to underscore the breakdowns in scientific standards and conflicts-of-interest that can come about when companies fund research about their own products.

In July, another university press release had declared that Fifth Quarter's milk outperformed competing products in aiding post-exercise recovery. The details of the study were not made available.

This all reminds me of the Dairy Farmers of Canada surveys which concluded that milk and dairy products were priced higher in U.S. than Canadian supermarkets.