Virgo Names Scientific Advisory Board for SupplySide West 2005 Education Program

June 23, 2005 -- PHOENIX -- Virgo Publishing announced the members of the 2005 Scientific Advisory Board that will evaluate proposals for scientific presentations for SupplySide West International Trade Show and Conference Nov. 9-11 in Las Vegas. The SupplySide West education program is sponsored by Cognis Nutrition & Health.

"The advisory board helps us develop an A-list roster of presenters and seminars on the most current science and research.” said Jon Benninger, director of business development at Virgo Publishing. "Cognis and Virgo believe in setting an industry foundation on science and research through education."

Members of the scientific advisory board are:

Jon Benninger, Director of Business Development, Virgo Publishing
Benninger is responsible for industry outreach and new business development for Virgo Publishing, the producer of the SupplySide trade shows,, and HSR: Health Supplement Retailer and Natural Products Industry INSIDER magazines. Benninger entered the natural products industry in 1990 and joined Virgo Publishing in 1995 as the founding editor of HSR. He is an active member of many associations, including the National Nutritional Foods Association (NNFA), American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) and Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN). He also serves as president-elect of the Dietary Supplement Education Alliance (DSEA).

Mark Blumenthal, Founder and Executive Director, American Botanical Council (ABC)
Blumenthal heads the American Botanical Council (ABC), an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to disseminating accurate, reliable and responsible information on medicinal plants. He is the editor/publisher of HerbalGram, an international, peer-reviewed quarterly journal. For six years he served as adjunct associate professor of medicinal chemistry at the University of Texas at Austin. He was a founding board member of the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA). Blumenthal is the senior editor of several key reference books including The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines, Herbal medicine-Expanded commission E Monographs and The ABC Clinical Guide to Herbs. He also a co-author of Rational Phytotherapy 5th ed..

John N. Hathcock, Ph.D., Vice President, Scientific and International Affairs, Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN)
Dr. Hathcock is responsible for scientific review and regulatory interpretation, especially on safety and international regulatory issues, for the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN). He has more than 30 years of experience, including tenures as professor at Iowa State University and senior scientist at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). He is an expert on safety evaluation of nutrients and other dietary ingredients, and has made numerous presentations on safety of vitamins and minerals and other dietary ingredients to the U.S. Food and Nutrition Board. He authored CRN's Vitamin and Mineral Safety, and continues to publish peer-reviewed scientific articles, as well as make presentations at major national and international conferences on safety and labeling regulatory issues related to foods, functional foods and dietary/food supplements. He analyzes and develops CRN policy positions including those concerning the Codex Alimentarius and the European Commission.

Cindy Schweitzer, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, Cognis Nutrition & Health
Dr. Schweitzer manages the science program for carotenoids, vitamin E and phytosterols at Cognis Nutrition & Health, a global leader in the manufacture and innovation of nature-based ingredients and application technology for health and food products. Schweitzer works with scientists worldwide on research products supported by Cognis. Active in many professional organizations, she is a member of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), the Chicago Nutrition Association and the American Society for Nutritional Sciences, a constituent society of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB).

Carsten R. Smidt, Ph.D., FACN, Vice President, Global R&D, Pharmanex
Smidt oversees all of Pharmanex's research and development activities in Provo, Beijing and Shanghai, including chemistry, information resources, scientific affairs, clinical and pharmacological research. Smidt has 15 years of experience in the dietary supplement and medical foods industry, including four years at the Mead Johnson Nutritional Group, Bristol Myers-Squibb Co. (where he developed the Boost® energy drink). Smidt also has nine years of experience as the leading research scientist in new product development for Pharmanex. He developed new LifePak, g3 juice and most Pharmanex Solutions products.

David Smith, Ph.D., Chief Science Officer, Pharmavite
Dr. Smith leads the research & development (R&D), quality assurance/quality control, scientific affairs, regulatory affairs, and professional and consumer education departments for Pharmavite. Over the last 24 years he has had a very diverse career in the food industry. Dr. Smith has held leadership positions in R&D in numerous leading companies such as Kraft, Nabisco, Chef America, Hunt-Wesson and Frito-Lay.

Susan Trimbo, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Scientific Affairs, GNC
Dr. Trimbo is involved in new product development and clinical testing of GNC products. She joined GNC in 1999 as vice president of scientific affairs and between 2000 and 2003 also provided oversight for all of Numico's North American supplement businesses. Prior to joining GNC, Trimbo worked for Wyeth Consumer Healthcare on its Centrum vitamin business. Earlier, she was with Clintec, a Nestlé/Baxter Healthcare Medical Nutrition venture. She earned her doctorate at Cornell University and completed postdoctoral training in the department of surgery at Harvard Medical School.

The scientific advisory board will evaluate seminar proposals based on factors such as originality, relevance to industry, scientific merit and speaker credentials.

More information about SupplySide West 2005 is available at, or by calling Virgo Publishing at (800) 454-5760.

Virgo Publishing produces the SupplySide Trade Shows and Conferences, the Focus on the Future Executive Conference and Retreat, the online training Web site, and publishes Natural Products Industry INSIDER and HSR: Health Supplement Retailer magazines.


Amy Sharman, Marketing and Communications Manager
Virgo Publishing
480-990-1101, ext. 1543 * [email protected]

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