The University of Connecticut has accused Dipak Das, a professor and researcher who published studies touting the health benefits of consuming red wine, of falsifying data and is seeking his dismissal, according to a report in Wine Spectator.
The university’s health center is citing extensive research misconduct in Das’ studies after a three-year investigation into research published in 11 scientific journals. “We have a responsibility to correct the scientific record and inform peer researchers across the country,” said Philip Austin, interim vice president for health affairs at the University of Connecticut.
Das, a professor in the department of surgery and director of the cardiovascular research center, conducted those studies over a period of seven years. In one study, he credited resveratrol and anthocyanidins, both compounds found in grape skins, with red wine’s observed cardiovascular benefits. Another found that resveratrol helps stem cells repair damage to hearts.
An anonymous tip in 2008 to the university regarding research irregularities triggered the investigation, according to spokesperson Chris DeFrancesco. “The comprehensive report, which totals approximately 60,000 pages, concludes that Das is guilty of 145 counts of fabrication and falsification of data,” said DeFrancesco in a statement. “As a result of the investigation the health center has frozen all externally funded research in Das’ laboratory and declined to accept $890,000 in federal grants awarded to him.”
Contacted by Wine Spectator, Das declined to comment on the allegations. Dismissal proceedings against him are currently underway. It’s still unclear which studies may be compromised.
All very sketchy, but I just want to know what his motivation was. Was it the nearly $1 million research grant; or was there an outside company involved, who would stand to profit from research touting the benefits of red wine consumption? I also want to know why, if there was an anonymous tip in 2008, that it took so long for this story to come out!?!?!
Personally, I just wish we could finally get an answer as to the TRUE benefits of drinking fermented red grape juice. I’m getting a little bored of reading the weekly “studies” which claim another reason why wine supposedly is the “fountain of youth”.
On a side-note, and whilst I’m not condoning his actions, it’s nice to finally have a touch of SCANDAL in the wine industry! It keeps things interesting…