Conferences archive > 2008 > SPEAKERS & ABSTRACTS

Hervé J. Nordmann

As a veterinarian by training, food production and nutrition have been driving factors in his professional choice.  After a Ph.D. in human pharmacology, on the prevention of CVI (Chronic Venous Insufficiency) by  plant  extracts,  he  was  trained  in the  chemical  industry  (agri  & pharma)  as  a  recognized  expert  in toxicology.  This is where he started to think in terms of Risk and Benefit for the population as a whole.  In the industry the job cannot be political y influenced as it represents what is closest to the values and ethics  of  the  company. The  use of  animals  in  research  triggered  enormous  debates  in  the  early eighties.  This forced him to think about ethical aspects and to take a moral approach to the utilitarian use  of  living beings  for  the  progress  of  science  and  for  the  safety  of  man  and  nature. For  the past 
twenty years he has been responsible for the scientific and regulatory aspects within the food sector of an international company, specialized in the production of food ingredients and additives for animal and human use.

The strong link between science and public relations in food issues has added a further dimension to his understanding  of  communication,  and  the  role  of  the  media  in particular. In  certain  circumstances, major ethical concerns have once again emerged which have been linked with the introduction of new products  or  new  technologies. Due  to  the  weaknesses in  risk  communication  a  very  high  price  has been paid i.e. a loss in consumer’s trust.

During the course  of these  activities he  has  built  up an  extensive  net of relationships  and friendships among  scientists,  members  of  the  medical  and  nutritional  community,  civil servants  of  regulatory agencies,  politicians,  MPs  and  MEPs,  representatives  of  the  food industry  who  are  part  of  many industrial  associations,  and  members  of  international organizations  like  WHO,  FAO,  WTO,  Codex Alimentarius, ILSI (International Life Science Institute) and ICD.  This has taken place during repeated visits to over eighty countries. He is presently the chairman of ICD (Industry Council for Development) and he is also chairing the “Nutrition and Public Health “task force of ILSI Europe. 

Round Table on The pursuit of justice; food and water for all

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