IADSA scientific forum debates supplement science and regulation

IADSA scientific forum debates supplement science and regulation

The focus of the International Alliance of Dietary/Food Supplement Association's Scientific Forum last month was achieving micronutrient adequacy with food supplements and minimizing the risk of overconsumption.

Held in Buenos Aires on 1-2 September, the forum saw scientists from across the globe debating regulatory and scientific issues relating to harmonisation of definitions, claims, scientific substantiation, and nutritional risk analysis based on Codex Alimentarius Guidelines and Principles.

It also saw discussion on the development of risk management approaches based on scientific risk assessment rather than on arbitrary multiples of RDA for setting maximum levels.

The main themes were the changes in nutrition related problems, hence supplement adequacy and minimizing the risk of over consumption; the fact that science is not static but changes as new knowledge is developed; the lack of clear information for regulators, particularly regarding intake data, on which to base policy decisions; and the importance of risk assessment.

“While health policy makers want absolutes, it is not always possible with science,” said Penny Viner, coordinator of the IADSA Scientific Group. “Certainly regulators need to be cautious and depend on science, but science is not static, and what they depended on some years ago is not necessarily right any more. There is a need for more information for assessment purposes, and more interaction between the sector and regulators so that the right research is carried out.”

Recurring issues were the over-reliance on Randomised Controlled Trials (RCTs); the need for more and better biomarkers; the meaning of homoestasis in relation to supplementation; the problems of obesity and micronutrient depletion; the need for more and better intake data; the need for carefully targeted research; the importance of risk assessment, and the need for dialogue between regulators and the industry.


IADSA has more than doubled in size since its creation in 1998, representing more than 50 national trade associations and over 20,000 companies.For more information contact David Pineda Ereño, IADSA Director of Regulatory Affairs, 50 Rue de l’Association, 1000 Brussels, Belgium, tel: +32 2 209 1155, fax: +32 2 223 3064, or email [email protected], or [email protected], or visit www.iadsa.org


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