The International Alliance of Dietary/Food Supplement Associations (IADSA) will boost efforts toward multilateral regulatory harmony particularly in Asia and Latin America, where the organisation has a small but growing presence. Most of its 58 member associations are European and the European industry will be pleased to see that the European Health Product Manufacturers' Association (EHPM) president, Peter Van Doorn, has been appointed as vice-chairman. A further European presence is provided by Ric Hobby, the managing director of Herbalife Europe, and president of the UK Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), who has been appointed treasurer. Focus on science Byron Johnson, the former chairman of the US Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), is the new chair, and he emphasised the importance of the scientific project for the supplements industry. "Over the years I have seen how effective the advocacy and communication techniques of IADSA can be and I am glad that I have been able to play a part in some of IADSA's many successes," Johnson said. "We will continue to build on our scientific network to bring our messages to more regulators and decision makers across the world." His opening gambit carried particular poignancy in the wake of pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline's attack on dietary supplements marketed with weight loss claims in the US via a Food and Drug Administration petition. IADSA's Brussels-based director of regulatory affairs, David Pineda, told NutraIngredients.com Johnson would usher in a period of greater focus on science. "We need to allocate more resources to scientific work and communicating that work more effectively to the media and other outlets," he said. In this direction a group of scientists would be called upon to draft publications with the aim of producing one significant scientific document per year. New regions Pineda said 10-year-old IADSA's structure needed to adapt to reflect the growing number of member associations being drawn from outside North America and Europe. South East Asia was a good example of a region that had benefited from IADSA input with the 10-country Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) on the brink of achieving regulatory harmony in food supplements. Latin America, where only Mexican, Columbian and Peruvian trade associations had become involved with IADSA, would continue to be a focus after an IADSA event held this month in Mexico City had attracted interest from much of the continent. New chair Johnson paid tribute to outgoing chairman, Randy Dennin, and vice-chairman, Bruce Dennison, who both served IADSA for more than 10 years, and welcomed their continued input into IADSA "future activities and strategy". IADSA was formed in 1998 and its 58 national trade associations represent more than 20,000 companies. The Belgian headquartered group is an accredited international non-governmental organization (INGO) and has provided influential input into international rule-making bodies such as the United Nations food regulations arm, the Codex Alimentarius.