Thinking ahead for the PlantLIBRA project.

After a intensive work week at the PlantLIBRA project meeting in Brasov in the middle of May, the Project Management Team has recharged energies, is taking actions in the project organization, and is planning the next steps of work.

This last meeting has given all of us the chance to reflect and to learn from all the events and outcomes of this international event, and given us helpful insights to even start planning the project’s next meeting in one year. This second project meeting  has provided us with the valuable opportunity to meet our partners, many for the first time in person since the beginning of the project. We exchanged views on plant food supplements, and shared ideas and enthusiasm about the work we are carrying on. The lessons of this first year has made us aware of achievements and problems areas to prepare us for the next work period.

A special acknowledgment for the kind and well appreciated organization and hospitality goes to PlantLIBRA partners of  the University of Transilvania, Dr Mihaela Badea and Monica Florescu, who have provided their constant support and efforts during the whole Project meeting.

Sonia Rebustini, PlantLIBRA Management Team

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PlantLIBRA’s 2nd Project Meeting in Brasov, Romania, concluded last week

Thanks to the help of the Transilvania University  of Brasov and with the Coordinator, the University of Milan, Hylobates Consulting managed the practical organization the PlantLIBRA’s 2nd  Project Meeting in Brasov, Romania, which ended last week. This meeting is the culminating point of each year to hear from individual partners and work groups on their achieved results on the topic of plant food supplements.

From 17 to 20 May PlantLIBRA partners from 25 institutes and companies traveled from Bucharest to Brasov through beautiful landscapes of mixed forest and high mountains of the Transylvanian alps to meet and assess project progress.

Some programme highlights were:

•   Presentation of the 1st  year results by each working group (work package)

•   Internal work package meetings

•   Project dissemination events with local authorities and journalists

•   Presentations and dialogue with policy advisors active  in the field of plant food supplements

•   Workshop with  stakeholders representing manufactures and associations of the plant food supplement sector

Among some of the project objectives, results were presented going from the activities for building a meta-database with compositional and toxicological values of botanicals, the multinational surveys on intake and consumption of plant food supplements, to the risk benefit assessment of this product category,

Along with the scientific presentations, we learned as well from national authorities from Romania, Hungary, Italy, Belgium and Germany on the specific requirements for policy and legislation of plant food supplements.

More information on PlantLIBRA on:

http://www.plantlibra.eu/web/

Alejandro Rodarte, PlantLibra managment team

PlantLIBRA, Prof. Silano wishes success to the PlantLIBRA Brasov meeting

Prof. Silano, chairman of EFSA’s Scientific Committee and of PlantLIBRA’s Scientifi Advisory Board, has asked us to share a message with PlantLIBRA partners (he will not be able to attend the meeting):

I would be very grateful if you could express to all our colleagues participating in the PlantLIBRA meeting in Brasov, my sincere regrets for not being able to participate. I hoped to help develop the project in a concrete way and help avoid some pitfalls to the project. In any case, my wish is that everything goes well, considering that this project is unique in its nature and also represents a significant success for those who have put forward the proposal. Furthermore, the results of this project will not fail to provide long-waited responses with substantial benefits for consumers of food supplements with botanicals.

[translated from Italian]

The PlantLIBRA Management Team

Hylobates’ PlantLIBRA Management Team helps set up forum for dialogue between PlantLIBRA and stakeholders

During its project meeting in Brasov, Romania, PlantLIBRA’s management team based at Hylobates is organizing and inviting participants and interest groups to its workshop:

“Stakeholders in the plant supplement sector-  A needed cooperation “

Considering the varied perceptions and regulations concerning plants supplements within Europe and internationally, the close cooperation between stakeholders, policy makers, consumers, and scientists is essential. The latter to promote sound technological innovation, as well as harmonization of procedures and communication of scientific findings.

Through this workshop PlantLIBRA’s participants will meet and hear from stakeholders of the European plant supplement industry, government and other special groups, and discuss actual issues and needs of the sector. By doing so we seek their valuable feedback on how to redirect our efforts and therefore project’s results for a better interface between industry, science and policy.

Join us on 18th May.

Update on May 13: program available at this link PlantLIBRA Stakeholder Workshop Programme

– Alejandro David Rodarte,  PlantLIBRA Management Team –

Altroconsumo, Federsalus e gli integratori alimentari

No agli integratori alimentari

Nei giorni scorsi si è registrata un’editoriale polemica di Altroconsumo sugli integratori alimentari, partita da un’inchiesta (dei cui meriti non intendo discutere), cui è seguita la replica di Federsalus, con un articolo comparso su ilfattoalimentare.it che riassume il tutto.

Per chi lavora nel settore, in tutte le componenti della filiera, questi attacchi – quando sono generici ed apodittici – dispiacciono, anche per la confusione che creano nel consumatore, senza in realtà modificarne i comportamenti. Nel mondo degli integratori alimentari – come tanti settori paralleli, da quello del farmaco da banco a quello dell’alimento funzionale – c’è una grande varietà di qualità, efficacia, comunicazione. Indispensabile in questo senso è – e soprattutto sarebbe – un’azione critica, puntuale, basata su dati scientifici ed analitici, da parte del movimento consumerista, a cominciare dall’organizzazione più qualificata, che è Altroconsumo. Ritengo che la qualità di molti prodotti non sia sufficiente e che i controlli vadano incrementati.

Non posso condividere invece l’atteggiamento pregiudiziale che non è solo del movimento consumerista, ma anche di alcuni noti studiosi e personalità. Non è un pregiudizio, nella sua generalità,  basato sui dati scientifici: ci sono buone evidenze che alcuni integratori alimentari funzionano, e fanno bene, anche se, per tanti altri, la comunicazione si è svincolata dal dato scientifico (basta fare un giro in farmacia o leggere il giornale per verificarlo). Come fa notare Federsalus, non si possono poi mettere in luce solo i pareri negativi di EFSA: l’Autorità comunitaria ha ritenuto scientificamente fondati numerosi claim che riguardano gli integratori alimentari, soprattutto su vitamine e minerali (in maniera che non mi trova d’accordo, peraltro). Inoltre, se è vero che la dieta varia ed equilibrata è un obiettivo corretto, è anche vero che non è la realtà di tutti, e, in nome di un ideale corretto, non mi sembra giusto non favorire uno status nutrizionale adeguato, anche se raggiunto mediante l’integrazione. Infine, si ignorano le oggettive carenze di micronutrienti che riguardano anche la popolazione italiana (e di cui si parla pochissimo): dal ferro in numerose donne, all’acido folico, alla vitamina D e alle vitamine del gruppo B negli anziani. Forse serve la fortificazione (che non c’è), spesso modificare la dieta è poco realistico o praticabile e numerose persone potrebbero trarre un significativo beneficio da un’integrazione adeguata, e conforme alle più recenti indicazioni scientifiche.

Se insomma le organizzazioni dei consumatori si occupano di distinguere tra integratore ed integratore, senza proclami generici, fanno un buon servizio al settore industriale, prima di tutto, e, poi, ai consumatori che sono quelli che stanno a cuore a tutti.

Luca Bucchini, Managing Director

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