Scientific Integrity Consortium Meeting at the National Academies

March 2017

In today’s complex research environment, scientific integrity is at the forefront of discussions on the challenges that potentially threaten scientific advancement. The International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) North America and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable (GUIRR) both have a commitment to upholding scientific integrity and wanted to bring together a Scientific Integrity Consortium who also share these values.

On 2 March 2017, ILSI North America and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s GUIRR co-hosted a Scientific Integrity Consortium meeting at the National Academy of Sciences Building. The Consortium of 6 federal agencies and 3 Canadian government agencies, 10 professional societies, 3 non-profit scientific organizations, and others came together to agree upon a set of principles and best practices for scientific integrity that can be used broadly across all scientific disciplines.

The Consortium members used a draft set of principles, which was developed using ILSI North America’s, “Scientific integrity resource guide: Efforts by federal agencies, foundations, nonprofit organizations, professional societies, and academia in the United States” and the America Society of Microbiology’s, “A framework for improving the quality of research in the biological sciences,” as the basis for the day’s discussion.

The set of principles and best practices will be submitted for publication.

USDA Branded Food Products Database Grows to Include Over 175,000 Products

In the four months since its launch, the USDA Branded Food Products Database now includes 175,233 products and will continue to grow. ILSI North America has played an instrumental role in the development and implementation of the Database along with the other partners, USDA, GS1 US, 1WorldSync, and Label Insight. The goal of the Database is to improve public health by sharing this open data which expands the existing USDA National Nutrient Database with branded and private label food products with both the nutrient composition and ingredient information provided by the food industry. The USDA National Nutrient Database, serves as a main source of food composition data for governments, the public health research community, and the food industry. It also provides public access to nutrient composition and ingredient information on branded foods and store brand data provided voluntarily by the food industry. The composition of the food supply and consumer dietary choices are key components of agricultural and food policy decisions. Comprehensive data can inform these decisions, but the volume and fluidity of branded food products in the U.S. marketplace are challenges. The USDA Branded Food Products Database was officially launched in September 2016 by Secretary Tom Vilsack at the Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition Summit (GODAN). Video of the Summit can be viewed here.

Expert Working Group Develops Best Practices in Measuring/Reporting Blood Fatty Acids

The ILSI North America Dietary Lipids Committee sponsored an expert working group to develop best practices in measuring and reporting blood fatty acids for use in designing, conducting, and reporting clinical trials and observational studies. A core writing group met in Washington DC in February to outline practices and discuss technical issues with experts at the National Institute of Health. The writing group is comprised of Ken Stark, Yuhong Lin, Tom Brenna (co-lead), Melanie Plourde (co-lead), and Peter Jones. This core writing group will be seeking input from additional experts and stakeholders. These best practices developed will be communicated in a scientific paper and symposium in the future.