James C. Griffiths, Ph.D., vice president, scientific and international affairs, Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), is chairing a symposium at the 53rd Annual Meeting of the Society of Toxicology, March 23 to 27, in Phoenix, Ariz. Titled “Improving the Safety of Dietary Supplements and Natural Health Products by Assessing Effects in Humans,” this half-day session on the morning of March 26 will bring together five scientific topic experts to discuss dietary supplement safety under the track “Advancing Clinical and Translational Toxicology and Application of Biomarkers.” Dr. Griffiths developed the symposium with session co-chair Scott A. Jordan, Ph.D., senior scientific evaluator, Marketed Health Products Directorate, Health Canada.
According to Dr. Griffiths, “Critics of the dietary supplement industry point to a lack of traditional pharmaceutical pre-market approval for these products as a concern, while others recognize that pre-market approval is not appropriate for products that don’t have exclusivity and don’t, in general, have the same potential for adverse events as drugs. Our experts will review other methods that are appropriately being used to assess the safety of dietary supplements, including post-market surveillance, animal studies and translational methods (such as computer modeling, genetic analyses and evidence-based literature assessments). The panel will share practical examples of how safety information is being used in regulatory environments, labeling, formulation and re-formulation decisions, and in new research directions.”
Symposium speakers include: Lewis Nelson, M.D., Department of Emergency Medicine, NYU Emergency Medicine Associates; Rick Kingston, Pharm.D., SafetyCall International, PLLC, and University of Minnesota; Bill Gurley, Ph.D., College of Pharmacy, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences; Chris Xing, Ph.D., College of Pharmacy, University of Minnesota; and Vasilios Frankos, Ph.D., Global Product Science, Safety & Compliance, Herbalife, Ltd.
This is the third symposium on dietary supplement related toxicity themes developed by Drs. Griffiths and Jordan that has been accepted by the Society of Toxicology. In 2012 and 2013 respectively, they organized and conducted symposia on “Translational Methods to Assess the Safety of Natural Health Products, Including Traditional Medicines and Dietary Supplements” and “Dietary Supplement Adulteration and Impact on Human Health.”
CRN’s Andrea Wong, Ph.D., vice president, scientific and regulatory affairs, will separately share scientific information at the Society of Toxicology meeting, providing valuable information in a poster presentation on “Safety Evaluation Methods for Supplemental Nutrients.” The poster highlights the safety evaluation methods that CRN’s former scientist, John N. Hathcock, Ph.D., developed to identify Upper Levels for Supplements (ULS) and that are detailed in the recently released CRN publication, “Vitamin and Mineral Safety, Third Edition.” That publication is available at no charge on CRN’s website.
The Society of Toxicology is a professional and scholarly organization of more than 7,700 scientists from academic institutions, government, and industry representing the great variety of individuals who practice toxicology in the U.S. and abroad.
Dr. Griffiths, who has more than 25 years of experience in the area of food safety and regulatory affairs, and a Ph.D. in Toxicology, is currently serving a two-year term as president of the Society of Toxicology’s Food Safety Specialty Section.