Thursday, 28 April 2022 Food Supplements Europe (FSE) has issued a call for greater co-operation to help solve the European Union’s most pressing health challenges.
Addressing attendees at an event organised with EURACTIV, FSE board member Dr Bernd Haber said that policy stakeholders and industry organisations should put aside any differences and work together to develop integrated strategies that tackle widespread poor nutrition and soaring healthcare costs.
Haber said: “We understand there are different views about the importance of supplementation. However, it is also clear that there is much common ground between us. The longer we spend debating this topic between ourselves, the less time there is to focus on addressing the real problems at-hand. That’s why FSE invites anybody with an interest in this area to work with us to find solutions to these issues.”
Haber explained that there were some areas where FSE believed food supplements offered the potential to help. Citing vitamin D as an example, he said: “Many studies that show clearly that vitamin D supplementation can reduce the risk of falling in the elderly population and avoid the resulting costs to healthcare services and the personal misery to so many people. This role has been recognised by the European Food Safety Authority and World Health Organisation. So, why is the intake of vitamin D through supplementation not more recognised and promoted in nutrition policy in the EU? This is the type of issue that needs serious discussion today among those involved in developing policy.”
But he added: “FSE values views from across the spectrum, and we recognise that supplements are not the answer to every problem. It’s also clear that we agree on more issues than we disagree on. We all share the same aim: to help EU citizens live healthier and happier lives. FSE is proposing a collective approach that puts our combined energy and expertise into identifying and implementing policies that deliver on this goal.”
Haber was speaking at ‘The role of food supplements in improving health in the EU’, a virtual conference held on 28 April 2022. Jointly organised by FSE and EURACTIV, the event covered topics such as nutrient deficiencies, the need for greater nutrition literacy among the population, and how supplements can meet nutrient gaps and help reduce the burden on national health systems.
Other speakers included:
Sara Cerdas MEP – Member ENVI Committee, European Parliament
Kerli Ats – Member Diversity Europe (Group III), European Economic and Social Committee and Director of the Estonian Farmers’ Federation
Dr Philip Calder – President, Federation of European Nutrition Societies and Professor of Nutritional Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton