About CRN-I
Scientific Resources
CRN-I Comments
Press Releases
Membership Information


+41/(0)91/610 94 70

P.O. Box 253
6928 Manno

In the United States:
1828 L St. NW, Suite 510 / Washington, D.C., 20036-5114
+1 202 204 7665

Scientific Symposium:

CRN-I’s second scientific symposium

Nutrition Issues in Codex:
Health Claims and
Nutrient Reference Values

Click here for details.

Schlosshotel Kronberg
Hainstraβe 25
61476 Kronberg im Taunus, Germany
(nearby Codex meeting at Ramada Hotel, Koenigsteiner Strasse 88, 65812 Bad Soden am Taunus)

By invitation only, space is limited.

Contact Haiuyen Nguyen (hnguyen@crn-i.ch)

(Program in English)

Subject to Change

This symposium will provide detailed scientific discussions of two major nutrition concerns of Codex:
(1) the scientific basis of health claims, and
(2) the issues related to Nutrient Reference Values.

Registration and continental breakfast

Opening remarks

John Venardos
Vice-Chair, CRN-International

Policy Keynote:
Codex standards—their role in the international

and national regulatory framework

Dr. David Jukes
University of Reading, Reading, U.K.

Codex documents, including guidelines and standards, have value as educational materials for member governments and are sometimes used as templates for policy and regulatory decisions. Also, the WTO SPS agreement recognizes Codex as the presumptive international authority on food issues, and therefore Codex document could be decisive in related trade disputes.

Science Keynote:
Nutrient bioavailability—impacts on health claims and NRVs

Prof. Peter J. Aggett
Lancashire, U.K.

Nutrient bioavailability is a critical factor in determining the ability of nutrients to provide the beneficial effects that are the basis of health claims. Bioavailability also influences the quantitative dietary requirements that are the basis of nutrient intake recommendations and NRVs

Peter Prock, M.D.
European Nutraceutical Association, Basel, Switzerland

John Hathcock, Ph.D.
Council for Responsible Nutrition-International

Session 1: Scientific standards for food label claims

Scientific and regulatory frameworks for health claims
Prof. David P. Richardson
DPR Nutrition, Croydon, U.K.

Codex, EFSA and US FDA have established guidelines or regulations that will permit similar types of health claims—these include structure-function claims and disease risk reduction claims. The scientific basis for claims has been established by the US FDA and EFSA, but not by Codex.

Evidence-based nutrition—different from evidence-based medicine?

Prof. Philip C. Calder
University of Southampton, Southampton, U.K.

The substantiation of beneficial effects that are the basis of health claims requires consideration of the available evidence. In contrast to pharmacological data, nutritional datasets include epidemiological evidence. Is evidence-based nutrition difference from evidence-based medicine, and is it valid for the substantiation of health claims on foods


Vitamin D—evidence for non-skeletal claims

Heike Bischoff-Ferrari, M.D., M.P.H.
University of Zurich, Switzerland

Vitamin D is well-known for increasing calcium absorption and enhancing bone health. Substantial epidemiological evidence and some clinical trial data suggest that vitamin D intake can have important effects on the risk of falls, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other health effects. Are the data for the non-skeletal effects robust enough to justify health claims?

Heart health—what claims are justified?

Theresa Nicklas, Dr.PH., M.P.H.
Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA

Diet clearly influences heart health and disease, but the roles of specific nutrients and other ingredients varies from one to another. Omega-3 fatty acids have good supporting data, but there is less evidence for other substances, including vitamin E. Disease risk reduction and structure-function claims may require different types of data.


Health claims—a medical researcher's view
Helmut Sies, M.D.
Heinrich-Heine-University, Dusseldorf, Germany

Health claims on foods may provide useful information to consumers, but many will over-interpret the information to mean that they can rely upon the food or nutrientto eliminate a disease risk. Many physicians and other healthcare providers are cautious about recommending nutrients in relation to health claims. Because the scientificevidence changes, defining criteria for substantiating health claims must be anongoing process.


Food manufacturers—a view of label claims

Prof. Stefan Mϋhlebach, Ph.D.
Vifor Pharma, Ltd., Glattbrugg, Switzerland

Food and food supplement manufacturers need to convince consumers that their products are beneficial and safe. Health claims on food labels may persuade some consumers the products are useful in enhancing health.


Session 2: Issues related to Nutrient Reference Values (NRVs)

Codex NRVs—impacts of choices of INL-98, means, and age groups

Oran Kwon, Ph.D.
Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Republic of Korea

NRVs are designed to provide a quantitative basis for comparing the nutritive values of foods. Many consumers interpret the NRVs as being the recommended nutrient intakes for them. The INL-98 and the mean of adult male and female values provide NRVs that are sufficient when used as targets for individual intakes.

Consumers’ understanding and use of NRVs

Monique Raats, Ph.D.
University of Surrey, Guilford, Surrey, U.K.

NRVs, as defined by Codex, are the mean of adult male and adult female INL-98 values. As such, NRVs should be useful to compare the nutritional values of foods, but also for consumers who do not know the recommendations for their specific age/gender group the NRVs may sometimes serve as surrogate recommendations.

Session 3: World Trade Organization—
member obligations related to Codex

SPS and TBT Agreements—
impacts on maximums and claims

Maurits J.F. Lugard
Sidley Austin LLP, Brussels, Belgium

The World Trade Organization (WTO) recognizes the Codex Alimentarius as the primary, but not only, international authority on food issues.  No decisions by Codex can override the obligations pursuant to the WTO Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Agreement and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement.   The SPS and TBT Agreements can be examined for potential impacts on Codex recommendations on maximums and claims.


Past Scientific Symposium 3 July 2010:

Scientific Issues Related to
Codex Goals 

NOTE: This program has passed. Content from the meeting is now available, including a summary, speaker presentations and abstracts. Click here for details.

A summary of the 2010 CRN-I Symposium has been published in Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology:
Somogyi A, Hathcock J, Biesalski HK, Blumberg JB, Antoine JM, Edwards G, Prock P. 
Scientific issues related to Codex Alimentarius goals:
A review of principles, with examples.

Regul Toxicol Pharmacol
2011; 60(1):161-164. 

Click here to view the abstract.

Read the press release: