About this event

  • Date and time Fri 2 Dec 2022 from 9:00am to 5:00pm
  • Location Online
  • Organised by Food and Health

This event will explore the subject of food supplements, “functional” and “superfoods” from a scientific, legislative and commercial perspective.

Confusion exists amongst the general public and healthcare professionals regarding the safety, legal status and utility of these categories of foods. The primary objective of this conference is to provide a balanced perspective so participants are better informed and the use of supplements can become exclusively based on their functionality.

A unique aspect of the event is that it will address these products in a sequential way, from how they get on the market (evaluation and approval) and potential claims, to the evidence and guidance on their use, benefits and risks. This will be delivered by authoritative speakers with directly relevant experience from academic research, public health, clinical care and industry.

Since Brexit, all aspects of this process have been evolving, so our speakers will provide attendees with clarity on the best current practice.

This event is also available to attend in person at the Royal Society of Medicine on Tuesday 29 November 2022. Please click here to book the in-person event

Participants will be able to:

  • Understand the general regulatory environment for foods and ingredients, including assessment, approval of safety and claims
  • Confidently advise patients and consumers about food supplements, "functional" and "super" foods
  • Be aware of current guidance on food supplements in public health and clinical practice, including possible risks and benefits in their use


Please click here to view the programme for the event.

The event recording will be available for registered event participants up to 60 days after the day via Zoom.

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We would like to thank our sponsor Sabri Ülker Foundation for their support of this webinar. Please note that the scientific programme and content has not been influenced in any way by the sponsor.


View the programme

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
Comfort 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
Comfort break
Who uses supplements and why? Consumer understanding, expectations, and behaviour

Dr Hayley 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



Registration for this webinar will close 1 hour prior to the start time. 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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