Regulators from 19 European countries, plus China and the US, recently met with partners from an EU project which is aiming to foster the safe use of plant-derived food supplements. The meeting with the project partners of PlantLIBRA (PLANT food supplements: Levels of Intake, Benefit and Risk Assessment) covered outcomes and strategies to tackle priorities in the science of plant food supplements.
The discussions took place during PlantLIBRA’s first Policy Advisory Board meeting held in September in Brussels. Francesco Carlucci of the EC Directorate General for Health and Consumers, who attended the meeting, expressed that the DG Health and Consumers is following the research project with interest and that discussions within the Directorate are ongoing on health claims on botanicals. PlantLIBRA is investigating the benefits of botanicals.
IFR’s Paul Finglas is a member of the PlantLIBRA Steering Committee and leads on an area of work, developing a database to develop, test and apply a sustainable integrated meta-database (ePlantLIBRA) of biologically active compounds in Plant Food Substances, a core deliverable of the project.
The meta-database was presented and raised great interest among participants. The meeting’s chairman Mr Joris Geelen of Belgium’s Federal Public Service (FPS) noted the database’s value for experts and policy makers dealing with quality assurance and assessment of risks and benefits of plant food supplements. Furthermore, the board’s members asked for clearer guidelines to interpret scientific evidence on botanicals. Catherine Ecclestone from the EC’s Research Directorate also participated in the meeting.
With this fruitful exchange, PlantLIBRA researchers continue progress to facilitate science-based decision-making in the area of plant food supplements in the interest of consumers. The event was hosted by Belgium’s FPS, and organized in cooperation with the European Botanical Forum, the international food consultancy EAS and Hylobates Consulting, who are partners of the PlantLIBRA’s project.
PlantLIBRA (acronym of PLANT food supplements: Levels of Intake, Benefit and Risk Assessment) is a project co-financed in the context of the 7th EU Framework Programme. For more information on the project and plant food supplements, please visit http://www.plantlibra.eu/web/
Luca Bucchini, Project Manager,
IFR Press Office: