After dropping two Harvard experts who had received industry support, the National Academies turned to a colleague with a similar background.

Shortly after dropping two Harvard scientists with financial conflicts of interest, the national organization assembling a committee to assess the evidence about drinking and health has chosen four new panelists, among them another Harvard professor who also has financial ties to the alcohol industry.

The committee’s work, under the auspices of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, will be used to update the federal government’s dietary guidelines, which advise Americans on nutrition and diet, including how much they should or should not drink.

Scientists at universities all over North America study the health effects of alcohol, and many do not accept industry funding. The National Academies instead chose two Harvard colleagues who also have published research strongly suggesting that drinking in moderation is good for you, critics said.

“How could they appoint someone with a history of alcohol funding after removing the other two because of alcohol funding?” said Dr. Michael B. Siegel, professor of public health and community medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine. Dr. Siegel is a longtime critic of industry-funded research into alcohol.

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