Robert Buchanan described how this workshop grew out of a project undertaken as part of the Interagency Risk Assessment Consortium. This consortium is a group of 17 federal agencies and organizational units within those agencies that meet to find ways to enhance the application of risk assessment to food issues. Two years ago, the consortium recognized that work by the World Health Organization (Source: http://www.who.int/ipcs/methods/ew [accessed July 10, 2007]) and others would lead to increased interest in the application of risk assessment methods to nutritional questions. Thus, the consortium worked to help plan this workshop that was designed to provide a forum for the discussion of the potential of risk assessment approaches to inform diet- and nutrition-related recommendations and decisions. Buchanan acknowledged Laina Bush within the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for her efforts and support.
Woteki expressed special thanks to the Interagency Risk Assessment Consortium for its instrumental role in planning the workshop. Woteki also expressed appreciation to the other cosponsors: the Food and Drug Administration; the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; the Agricultural Research Service and the Office of Risk Assessment and Cost Benefit Analysis, both of the U.S. Department of Agriculture; and the International Life Sciences Foundation.
A major objective of the workshop was to introduce the nutrition and risk assessment communities to each other and foster their collaboration. The more specific objectives of the workshop follow:
Discuss the strengths and challenges of using various risk assessment approaches to inform dietary and nutritional recommendations.
Explore the use of risk assessment approaches to evaluate standards for nutrient intake and the relationship of diet and nutrition to chronic disease risk.
Identify next steps necessary to make progress in these areas.