NIH to start policing conflicts of interest?

A report (free to view but registration required) in The Scientist describes the introduction by two US Senators of an amendment to the Economic Stimulus bill currently being debated in Congress which is apparently intended to better protect federally-funded NIH (National Institutes of Health) biomedical research from potential bias.

 The amendment notes that the NIH should "actively enforce its conflict of interest policies and respond in a timely manner when those policies have been violated by grantees."

A statement by the Senators, Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Herb Kohl (D-WI), lays out their reasons for introducing the amendment, noting that, "the goal of this initiative is to establish transparency and the accountability that comes from disclosure."