Biologists To Debate RDAs
Wyn Snow, Managing Editor
spring's Experimental Biology 2002 conference will include a special
session that debates the adequacy or inadequacy of several of the
new recommended dietary allowances (RDAs). As currently envisioned,
the session will focus on three nutrients: vitamin B-6, copper,
and chromium. For each nutrient, one person will defend the current
RDA and another will criticize it.
of this nature are essential to the process of reaching scientific
consensus. RDAs are based on statistical analyses and extrapolations
using scanty data. Such analyses are vulnerable to both errors and
honest disagreements about the findings and importance of different
studies, as well as which criteria to use as evidence of adequate
intake. (See our in-depth analysis
of the federal Institute of Medicine's new RDAs and safe upper levels.)
vitamin B-6, Professor Robert Reynolds of the University of Illinois
at Chicago will serve as co-chair. In our February 2001 interview
with Professor Reynolds, he describes his reasons for stating
that "RDAs and safe upper levels are more political than scientific."
Professor Reynolds tells SupplementQuality.com that he "anticipates
a lively session" at the 2002 debate.
the RDA for vitamin B-6 will be Professor Barry Shane of the
University of California at Berkeley, Nutritional Sciences &
the RDA for vitamin B-6 will be Professor James Leklem of Oregon
State University, Department of Nutrition and Food Management.
annual Experimental Biology conference is held by the Federation
of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB),
a coalition of 21 independent member societies that serve the interests
of biomedical and life scientists. FASEB's mission is to enhance
the ability of biomedical and life scientists to improve, through
their research, the health, well-being, and productivity of all
people. FASEB's Experimental Biology 2002 conference will be held
in New Orleans.