VITAL Scientific Expert Panel to meet in Rome, October 2016

The Allergen Bureau VITAL Scientific Expert Panel (VSEP) will reconvene in Rome, Italy in October 2016 to review the Reference Dose status. Other items for likely review by the VSEP include: outcomes and status of VITAL and EuroPrevall data combination; results of peanut one-shot experiment; consumptions data assumptions and issues; and communication with the clinical and public health community.

Cross contact allergens, when present in a food, can trigger an allergic reaction in sensitive individuals. However, scientific evidence has shown that there are levels of allergenic food residues that are small enough not to trigger an allergic reaction in most individuals with food allergy under normal circumstances. Recognising a need for these levels to be identified through sound and robust science, the Allergen Bureau invited international scientists specialising in allergen management, food allergy and risk assessment to form the VSEP. The objective being to review the underpinning science around food allergen thresholds.

The VSEP first met in Sydney, Australia in 2011 and reviewed available clinical evidence to determine Reference Doses for a range of commonly recognised allergens. The VSEP overarching scientific approach included:

  • analysing existing published clinical data plus some unpublished data
  • performing statistically based risk assessments
  • ensuring the data is scientifically and clinically sound, defensible and transparent
  • aiming to protect the vast majority of people with food allergy.

The recommendations from the VSEP form the scientific framework for the current iteration of the VITAL Program and VITAL Online. The VSEP continues to be a key part of the VITAL Program by evaluating newly available data that will inform any changes to the Reference Doses.

The VITAL Scientific Expert Panel are:

  • Dr Steve Taylor (Chair of Panel) – Food Allergy Research & Resource Program (FARRP) (USA)
  • Dr Joseph Baumert – Food Allergy Research & Resource Program (FARRP).
  • Dr Geert Houben – Program Manager Food Safety, Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) (NL)
  • Dr Rene Crevel (Allergy & Immunology, Unilever) (UK)
  • Dr Katie Allen -Paediatric Gastroenterologist / Allergist, Royal Children’s Hospital, University of Melbourne (AUS)
  • Dr Simon Brooke Taylor (Food Safety & Risk Analysis Consultant, Allergen Bureau) (AUS).

For more information about the VITAL Science