Recommendation on the evaluation/ assessment and the communication of epidemiological studies concerning the consumption of grapes, wine and other vitivinicultural products
RESOLUTION OIV-SECSAN 711-2022
RECOMMENDATION ON THE EVALUATION/ASSESSMENT AND THE COMMUNICATION OF EPIDEMIOLOGICAL STUDIES CONCERNING THE CONSUMPTION OF GRAPES, WINE AND OTHER VITIVINICULTURAL PRODUCTS
CONSIDERING that Article 2 of the Agreement of 3rd April 2001, establishes the objects and functions of the OIV, such as to inform its members of measures whereby the concerns of producers, consumers and other players in the vine and wine products sector may be taken into consideration. To achieve these objectives, the OIV’s activities shall be:
g) to help protect the health of consumers and to contribute to food safety, by promoting and guiding research into appropriate nutritional and health aspects; and
n) to gather, process and disseminate the most appropriate information and to communicate it,
CONSIDERING the OIV’s Strategic Plan 2020-2024 (Axe III. A) to encourage research and to collect and disseminate scientific information on the effects of wine consumption, grapes and other vine-based products on health, together and consistent with the WHO and other relevant organizations,
CONSIDERING that public health is an area that falls within the competence of Member States, these recommendations should be implemented at the discretion of each Member State in line with national public health priorities,
CONSIDERING that consumers of wine should be fully informed about the characteristics and quality of what they consume,
CONSIDERING that the “Safety and Health” Commission, has been gathering, processing and disseminating information on the health effects of alcohol consumption with the main objective to facilitate informed decisions about wine consumption,
CONSIDERING the importance of epidemiology and its use as defined by WHO: epidemiology is the study of the distribution and determinants of health-related states or events (including disease), and the application of this study to the control of diseases and other health problems. Various methods can be used to carry out epidemiological investigations: surveillance and descriptive studies can be used to study distribution; analytical studies are used to study determinants.
CONSIDERING that the “Safety and Health” Commission’s works take into account the expertise document on the Evaluation and use of epidemiological evidence for grapes, wine and other vitivinicultural products consumption research,
RECOMMENDS that with assessment/ evaluation of and communication of epidemiological studies concerning the consumption of grapes, wine and other vitivinicultural products the following criteria should be taken into account:
1. Analysis and limits
A statistical analysis should be completed with biological interpretation. The data collected or obtained during an epidemiological study must be analysed in conformity with the study protocol. Nonetheless, data collected in a study may legitimately be analysed to evaluate hypotheses that were not explicitly formulated in the initial protocol, or for a secondary purpose different from that originally intended. Any significant change from the statistical methodology described in the study protocol must be expressly mentioned in any publication or presentation of the study results.
2. Quality control for the study
The quality of the data collected, obtained, produced or published during or as part of an epidemiological study should be guarantee.
3. Scientific integrity
All study results regardless of whether the funders are public or private, are under the scientific supervision of the epidemiologist who is the principal investigator, and not of the funder, and the results should be published if their scientific validity is sufficient. Before submitting for publication any requests to hide the results or change or attenuate the content of a report or to delay publication must be categorically rejected.
As generally request, the authors of epidemiological articles should report their possible conflicts of interest and inform who funded the research.
In order to ensure the above criteria, an assessment of the risk of bias in accordance with the well-acknowledged guidelines per study design should be conducted.
Recommend for “any communication on epidemiological studies concerning the consumption of grapes, wine and other vitivinicultural products” that the following criteria should be taken into account:
Users of published epidemiological studies should consider that results generally constitute only a small part of the information available, and some bias may affect the choice of data published, in selecting results that agree with the epidemiologist’s point of view and not mentioning those that contradict it. This type of partiality or bias must be avoided.
Any communication must describe every aspect of the epidemiological study in an honest and balanced manner, without taking any other interests, especially non-scientific, into account.
6. Good practices
Communication should use clear, precise, sincere and confident information.
Communication should be trustworthy and transparent and impartial.
Communication should take into account that science is a process of collecting data and building strong evidence and must not contain speculations on what may be or not may be relevant in the future.