You cannot always trust claims based on the results of ‘scientific’ studies.
This is the lesson for the public when a US university withdrew its support for its own study on a company’s chocolate milk. According to the study, the chocolate milk could help athletes recover from concussions.
But after an internal investigation, the University of Maryland found a range of problems with the study.
So it has deleted the press releases about the milk product from its website.
It is also returning US$228,910 (HK$1.79 million) provided by the company and a co-op of milk producers and is reviewing its internal research procedures as a result.
The moves come after the school faced a backlash for a questionable press release that it issued in December.
The press release said a preliminary study showed the milk product 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. It also raised questions about conflicts-of-interest that can come about when companies fund research about their own products.
The university said it was an “isolated incidentˮ. The milk company said it was disappointed to learn the university programme mishandled the research.
(This article is published on Junior Standard on 7 April 2016)
Health News Review questioned study
University of Maryland response statement