“I get personal because they [EFSA] get personal to me"

Fed up: Probiotic research veteran issues global call to action

- Last updated on GMT

Veteran probiotic researcher professor Gregor Reid is not a happy man. It’s time the probiotic community fought back against those forces that have for too long denied a perfectly valid body of nutrition science in the form of commercial claims. It’s time to get personal…

“I get personal because they get personal to me,” ​said professor Reid, from the University of Western Ontario & Chair of Human Microbiology and Probiotics at the Lawson Health Research Institute in Canada, in reference to a European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) rejection of one peer-reviewed study he was involved in.

Earlier, he said the community needed to consider other avenues like direct protest to heighten attention and tension around a health claim prohibition situation that is damaging business, science and public health.

"I am not coming here as a passive speaker, I am coming here to challenge people and if they don't like it then they'll probably tell me...I think it's about time people stood up... We should be telling them [regulators] the decisions they are making are costing jobs, are costing lives, are unacceptable and will cost them votes because that's all they care about - getting into power."

Probiota 2014

Professor Reid will chair NutraIngredients Probiota 2014 in Amsterdam on February 4-5. A few places remain to join him and about 200 pre- and probiotic players from scientists to regulators to formulators and marketeers at the 2-day, 2-stream event.

To know more click here​.

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1 comment

Children dying for lack of probiotics

Posted by Maureen Minchin,

Why do children under the age of 2 in Asia die of diarrhea? Not because they don't have probiotics from the dairy industry or donkey milk or wherever. They couldn't afford them as treatments anyway. They die because they are lacking the 700spp and other pre- and probiotics from breastmilk - because marketers persuade parents that infant formula is "immunoprotective", immunofortis" etc etc. Formulas they can't afford but see elites using, and so purchase in ever greater numbers. (Sales went up by $5billion last year.) Professor Reid should know that there are good reasons to restrict marketing claims about probiotics, however useful a particular species or mix may be in adult gastrointestinal problems. They are still live organisms which can surprise researchers by their interactions with other organisms, and proof that one works well is not proof that the whole class do. When many are patented and few comparative trials are available, I'd rather regulators err on the side of caution: though I think including him in the panel could be a good idea! I look forward to hearing more of what he has to say, but he does need to think about human milk.

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