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Human Subjects Division (HSD)

Quick Tips from HSD

It's Taste Test Time!

Jun 4, 2014 at 12:00am

Woohoo! Quick Tips loves a taste test. This means eating, and giving opinions; two things at which Quick Tips excels. (That, and sleeping, but that's for another eNews issue.)

After answering an ad in the Daily for human subjects needed to give opinions on flavors of soup, we were surprised to see an HSD stamp on the consent form.

Turns out, at the time that HSD reviewed it, this study was not Exempt per the federal regulations because subjects were asked to identify pictures of vegetables on flash cards prior to the taste test. The researchers wanted to know if looking at pictures of vegetables made the subjects more interested in the vegetable soups. Quick Tips has some questions.

QT: What? What about Exempt Category 6. "Wholesome foods involved in food quality evaluation"?

R: Unfortunately, the study did not qualify (at the time) for this category. The fact that there was a "task" (identifying vegetable) and priming prior to the tasting excluded the study from exemption.

QT: What?

R: Exactly. We were told that because there was a task, it needed Minimal Risk review instead of Exempt.

QT: Is this study federally funded?

R: No, we're not funded at all.

QT: What about Exempt Category 7?

R: HSD hadn't yet incorporated Exempt Category 7 into their flexibility initiative!! But we heard they have now! We are very excited about the possibilities, this study would have totally qualified.

Wow! So this Exempt 7 thing could be very cool for researchers who are conducting non-federally funded minimal risk, non-physically invasive, interventions or interactions associated with educational tests, survey procedures, interview procedures, or observation of public behavior. Check out the SOP for full details.

(If you were wondering, Quick Tips did favor the cauliflower soup after incorrectly identifying Romanesco. Apparently not a strength of ours.)