A study out of the University of Maryland touting the benefits of locally produced chocolate milk is under scrutiny over conflict of interest concerns. Now, the university is conducting its own review into the study's release.
In December, the university sent out a news release suggesting that Fifth Quarter Fresh chocolate milk improved cognitive and motor function in high school football players. But, details of the study were not made available and it remains unpublished.
Watchdog website Healthnewsreview.org was the first to question why the university sent out a news release before the milk study was properly vetted.
The Maryland Industrial Partnership's (MIPS) program funded the study. The program links local businesses with UMD researchers to help boost the state economy.
University spokeswoman Crystal Brown sent In Focus the following statement:
"We have initiated an institutional review of this matter. We reaffirm our institutional commitment to the highest standards of research, peer-reviewed science, and avoidance of any conflict of interest, perceived or real."
This is the second study funded through the MIPS program involving Fifth Quarter Fresh. In July, the university reported that Dr. Jae Kun Shim, who conducted both studies, found that the milk outperformed leading sports drinks for endurance recovery. That study also remains unpublished.