The need for a research-intensive nutraceutical industry: what can congress do?

The Foundation for Innovation in Medicine's Sixth Nutraceutical Conference

May 9, 1996

The Hyatt Regency Washington On Capitol Hill, Washington, DC

(The Claims-Research Connection)

A nutraceutical is a food or parts of food that offer medical-health benefits, including prevention and/or treatment of disease.

FACT: It was hoped that the passage of the Dietary Supplement Health & Education Act (DSHEA) would lead to a research-intensive nutraceutical industry. The unfortunate conclusion, however, of the Foundation’s last nutraceutical conference was that it would not. When asked, “Who understands DSHEA?”, only 1 of the 161 participants responded in the affirmative – a dramatic example of (a) the confusion surrounding DSHEA and its negative impact on research, and (b) the urgent need for new laws to encourage such research.

FACT: There is, however, very good news. At the same conference, representatives from all walks of the health care community, ranging from industry and government to consumer groups, unanimously stressed the appreciation of the urgent need for research which has to date — except for efforts of our Foundation – been absent in the national dialogue.

FACT: A key conclusion of the fifth nutraceutical conference was the unanimous recognition of the critical importance of the claims-research connection: The more reasonable the claiming system, the more research would be funded by industry.

It is time that we hear from potential players from the nutraceutical industry, itself, regarding what Congress can do to establish a research-intensive nutraceutical industry that would make a major positive impact on the lives of both the healthy and the sick. This conference will focus on this single, critical issue.

The general format of the conference is as follows:

  • Representatives of the food, OTC and herbal remedy industries will present opinions of industry leaders, obtained by informal interviews.
  • A panel of experts along with the audience will discuss the results of these interviews.
  • The conclusions and recommendations of such discussions will be written at the meeting itself utilizing computer projection where all can participate.
  • Senators Bill Frist, M.D. (R-TN) and Tom Harkin (D-IA) along with Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR) will, after the recommendations are written, join us to hear and discuss them.
  • Senator Bill Frist, M.D. (R-TN), the Senate’s only physician, is a national leader in health matters.
  • Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) is the founder of the National Institutes of Health Office of Alternative Medicine and prime co-sponsor of DSHEA.
  • Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR) is the prime sponsor of the Access to Medical Treatment Act and co-sponsor of DSHEA.

The day concludes with a reception where conference participants and attendees, along with Senators Frist and Harkin as well as Representative DeFazio and their staffs, can meet and mingle to carry on the dialogue.


Lyn Ciocca, President and General Manager, IntraCellular Nutraceuticals, Inc.

Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Member of the Resource Committee and Transportation Infrastructure Committee

Stephen L. DeFelice, M.D., Chairman, The Foundation for Innovation in Medicine

Robert G. Donovan, Consultant, and former Chairman of NDMA (Nonprescription Drug Manufacturers Association)

Senator Bill Frist, M.D. (R-TN), Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee; Chairman-Senate Subcommittee on Disability Policy; Senate Budget Committee; Senate Small Business Committee

Victor L. Fulgoni, 111, Ph.D., Vice President, Nutrition, Science & Technology Center, Kellogg Company

Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee; Ranking Member-Senate Subcommittee on Disability Policy; Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee; Ranking Member-Subcommittee on Research, Nutrition and General Legislation; Senate Appropriations Committee; Ranking Member-Labor, HHS, Education Subcommittee; Senate Small Business Committee


David Collins, Consultant and former Chairman of NDMA

Stephen L. DeFelice, M.D.

Robert G. Donovan

Peter Goldman, M.D., Professor of Health Science, Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health

Enrique J. Guardia, Ph.D., Consultant and former Group Vice President, Technology, Kraft General Foods

Louis Lasagna, M.D., Dean, Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences, Tufts University

Stephen H. McNamara, Esq., Hyman, Phelps & McNamara, P.C. (former Associate Chief Counsel for Food, FDA)

Robert E. Smith, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Research, Nabisco, Inc. and President-Elect of the Institute of Food Technologists

Jur Strobos, M.D., of Counsel, Greenberg, Traurig, P.C. (former Director, Policy Research, Office of the Commissioner, FDA)