The first Latin American Conference on Food Supplements, to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from 8-9 October, is expected to highlight for the first time the role of supplements in promoting public health.
The conference, which has invited senior government representatives from throughout Latin America to meet with worldwide leaders of the supplement industry, will also discuss key issues facing the industry in the region including regulations and trading opportunities and constraints.
As the region develops more rapidly, and resources are freed up for health, the nutrition industry will gain a bigger role in Latin America. This opportunity to consider the different needs, opportunities and issues that affect the creation of a practical regulatory framework for supplements in Latin America is expected to attract participants from every country in the region as well as the international nutritional and health sectors.
The Brazilian Government will open the programme. Dr Jeronimas Maskeliunas, from the Codex Alimentarius Commission, Rome, will then define the Codex international guidelines for vitamin and mineral supplements, followed by two overviews of the Latin American market - the diversity of regulations and the trading opportunities and constraints.
Day one will examine the role and safety of supplements against the background of changing perceptions of values and new challenges for the risk assessors and the regulators. Reports of the experiences of the EU and the USA will be followed by insights into the differences in experience and regulations in four representative countries - Brazil, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay - and a round-up discussion joined by government officials from Chile and Bolivia.
Day two will focus on the benefits of supplements and how scientific information and health claims should be made to the consumer. Dr Carlos Daniel Magnoni, from the University of Sao Paulo, will review the contribution of a wide spectrum of ingredients. Three ministries of health from Latin America will then give their views on health claims - Argentina, Brazil and Chile - followed by the experiences of two other regions of the world - Canada and Japan - and a final discussion including Mexico and Peru on the issues that have arisen.