Dr Robert Verkerk warns of great potential for such data to be misused 

Source: Jane Byrne, NutraIngredients.com

3rd November 2009

With increasing dietary intake of food supplements in France, a government programme to monitor their consumption and any undesirable side effects arising from their use is underway.

The project is being conducted by the French food agency, AFSSA (Agence Francaise de securite sanitaire des aliments) and was prompted by legislation earlier this year aimed at keeping track of the supplement and wider functional food industry in France.

Marie Favrot, director of nutrition risk assessment at AFSSA, told NutraIngredients.com that vigilance systems are already in place in France to assist with reporting observed side effects in terms of prescription drugs, but a reporting mechanism was essentially lacking for the supplement industry:

"More and more people are consuming food supplements in France, and as a result, we need to put structures in place to enable better understanding of any potential side effects arising from this dietary intake," she said.

Read this article in full

Dr Robert Verkerk’s warning

In the article, Nutraingredients reports on the comments of our Executive and Scientific Director, Dr Robert Verkerk, who warned that there is great potential for such data to be misused, although government-led efforts to accumulate adverse event reports through practitioners, health stores and other suppliers of supplements is in principle sound.

"We have seen both in Europe and the USA, numerous cases where food supplements have been flagged as causative agents of particular adverse effects when further scrutiny demonstrates they were simply among large lists of products, often including medications and even alcohol and recreational drugs, consumed.

"It is utterly misleading to misrepresent the role of food supplements in such instances and the only way around the problem is to ensure absolute transparency in reporting, access to medical records and in the drawing of conclusions as to the potential contributory role of specific food supplements."


Return to home page