About this event

  • Date and time Tue 29 Nov 2022 from 9:00am to 5:00pm
  • Location Royal Society of Medicine
  • Organised by Food and Health

This event will explore a huge commercial market in food supplements and so-called "functional" foods or "superfoods", which are widely advertised and used by patients and the general public. Different regulations and authorities cover sales, evaluation, oversight, and permitted composition as these aspects have evolved since Brexit. There may be legitimate needs and uses for these; however, there are possible marketing concerns and risks. 

The event aims to clarify these issues, giving attendees a better understanding and overview of the topic. A unique aspect is that it will sequentially address these products, from how they get on the market (evaluation and approval) and potential claims to the evidence and guidance on their use, benefits and risks.

Join this event to hear authoritative speakers with relevant experience from academic research, public health, clinical care and industry. 

Participants will be able to:

  • Understand the general regulatory environment for foods and ingredients, including assessment and approval of safety and claims
  • Authoritatively communicate on food supplements, "functional" and "super" foods to patients, colleagues and the wider public
  • Be aware of current guidance and potential roles of food supplements in public health and clinical practice, including possible risks and benefits in their use


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Early bird pricing available until 18 October 2022.


RSM Fellow RSM Associate RSM Retired Fellow RSM Trainee RSM Student
£77.00 £46.00 £46.00 £46.00 £24.00

Non - Member

Consultant / GP / SAS Doctors AHP / Nurse / Midwife Trainee Student
£141.00 £84.00 £84.00 £44.00


View the programme

Registration, tea and coffee
Welcome and introduction

Dr Leigh Gibson, President, Food and Health Section, Royal Society of Medicine and Reader in Biopsychology, University of Roehampton

Session 1

Chaired by: Dr David Mela, Council Member, Food and Health Section, Royal Society of Medicine and Independent Nutrition Scientist

An overview of the regulatory environment

Mr Patrick Coppens, Director of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs, Food Supplements Europe

Risk assessment and risk-benefit assessment in food safety and nutrition

Professor Hans Verhagen, Owner, Food Safety and Nutrition Consultancy

Panel discussion
Tea and coffee break
Assessing potential health and nutrition claims: What evidence is required?

Professor Harry McArdle, Emeritus Professor, Rowett Research Institute, University of Aberdeen

Using authorised health and nutrition claims: Examples of use and mis-use in the market

Mr Frans van der Sman, Consultant, Scoring Solutions

Panel discussion

Session 2

Chaired by: Dr Julian Stowell, Council Member, Food and Health Section, Royal Society of Medicine and Nutrition Science Consultant, Sabri Ülker Foundation

The potential role of food supplements in public health and restrictive diets

Professor Julie Lovegrove, Director, Hugh Sinclair Chair in Human Nutrition, University of Reading

Guidance and experience on supplement use in clinical practice

Professor Ian Young, Clinical Professor, School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Queen’s University Belfast

Panel discussion
Tea and coffee break
Who uses supplements and why? Consumer understanding, expectations, and behaviour

Dr Haley Young, Associate Professor, School of Psychology, Swansea University

“Functional” and “super” foods: Land of hopes and stories?

Dr David Mela

Panel discussion
Closing remarks

Dr Leigh Gibson

Close of meeting


Royal Society of Medicine, 1 Wimpole St, Marylebone, London, W1G 0AE, United Kingdom

Registration for this event will close at 1:00am on Monday 28 November 2022. Late registrations will not be accepted. 


  • The agenda is subject to change at any time 
  • If the event is recorded, we are only able to share presentations that we have received permission to share. There is no guarantee that all sessions will be available after the event, this is at the presenters and RSM discretion. 
  • All views expressed at this event are of the speakers themselves and not of the Royal Society of Medicine, nor the speaker's organisations. 
  • This event will be recorded and stored by the Royal Society of Medicine and may be distributed in future on various internet channels.
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