UC Officials Weigh Ban on Tobacco-Funded Research
The UC Board of Regents is working with university officials and faculty to negotiate a compromise policy to address concerns about accepting research funding from tobacco companies, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The board on Wednesday was expected to vote on a proposal that would ban research funding from the tobacco industry (Schevitz, San Francisco Chronicle, 7/19).
The existing policy at the university permits any type of research funding as long as the university controls the research and publication of results (California Healthline, 1/22).
Instead of the vote, the board will negotiate a compromise with faculty, regents Chair Richard Blum and UC President Robert Dynes.
Proposals being considered include:
- Requiring faculty committees to evaluate grant proposals for tobacco-funded research and monitoring whether the research findings are used responsibly; and
- Allowing departments and other school divisions to decide whether to accept tobacco funds.
Faculty leaders argue that a ban would limit academic freedom and potentially could lead to funding bans from other controversial industries, such as pharmaceutical companies. The UC administration also opposes a ban.
Philip Morris USA is the only tobacco company that currently funds UC research. The company is paying $16.6 million to fund 23 projects (San Francisco Chronicle, 7/19). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.