Pro-Industry Author Recommends Drinking, Fails to Disclose Conflict of Interest

January 28, 2015

A pathologist with longstanding ties to the alcohol industry has published recommendations for doctors to advise patients who abstain from alcohol to start drinking, and to drink regularly. The author, Emanuel Rubin, did not provide a statement disclosing his conflict of interest and association with the alcohol industry. This, despite the journal's clear author guidelines requiring disclosure of any potential conflict of interest.

Rubin's recommendation for physicians to instruct adult patients to drink moderately is both premature, as well as unsupported by the preponderance of alcohol research. The myriad risks of alcohol consumption, including liver disease, stroke, increased risk of injury, and cancer, do not support a recommendation for nondrinkers to start drinking regularly. Even typically industry-friendly publications are questioning Rubin's recommendations.

Rubin currently serves as a consultant to the Medical Advisory Board of the Alcohol Beverage Medical Research Foundation (ABMRF), an organization funded by and associated with, beer producers and related trade groups. He has been a consultant for ABMRF since 1992. ABMRF has also funded multiple past projects of Rubin's designed to identify benefits of alcohol consumption; published articles describing those studies are also missing conflict of interest statements.