Latin America is such a large and diverse territory. However, no matter where we live, we face similar challenges and issues in terms of nutrition, food safety, sustainability and risk science. This is the reason why is so important for all the ILSI Latin American branches to work together; so we learn from each other and from our colleagues throughout the ILSI network.

The One ILSI approach to achieving our common objectives leverages the unique strengths of each ILSI branch and the ILSI Research Foundation in order to maximize the organization’s impact on the greater good. In the One ILSI spirit, we are trying to foster greater collaboration among the branches in Latin America and, as a group, with the larger ILSI network.

Shown here are activities organized and executed my more than one ILSI branch in Latin America. We are stronger working together. Together we have more impact.

ILSI Latin America Annual Meeting

18 – 20 October
Bogotá, Colombia

As we say very frequently at ILSI, one of our strengths is our international network. And in October, ILSI branches in Latin America will capitalize on this strength to host a first-ever regional meeting.

Even though the initial steps for establishing ILSI and its ultimate incorporation nearly 40 years ago were made in the United States, ILSI always recognized that health and science are borderless concepts. We also realize health decisions are often made locally. ILSI’s network is consciously designed so that science – no matter where it is generated – can be applied in national or regional context.

Today, the ILSI Research Foundation, and 17 regional or country-specific branches, work together to provide a flexible mechanism for identifying emerging issues, fostering a harmonized use of science, and building scientific capacity at the local level. Six of those branches are in Latin America.

For the first time, these branches – ILSI Argentina; ILSI Brasil; ILSI Nor-Andino; ILSI Mesoamerica; ILSI Mexico; and ILSI Sur-Andino – have organized a regional annual meeting where all six will be represented. They’ve worked in a truly collaborative manner in defining the meeting’s objectives, choosing the topics to address, and identifying and inviting appropriate speakers.

Latin America is a vast region stretching from the US – Mexico border to the near-Antarctic regions of Argentina and Chile. It includes several countries in the Caribbean. There is immense diversity among the region’s nations in terms of culture, political systems, and economic development. Each country and regions within the region have unique public health and environmental issues and concerns.

On this latter point, however, the ILSI Latin America branches have recognized they also share much in common when it comes to addressing human health and wellness and ensuring a safe and sustainable environment. Their first regional meeting is a result of this recognition. The branches will use it to identify science topics they can address collectively now and it will help establish a test and template for future collaboration.

In addition to discussing organizational issues related to good branch governance and communications, the branches have put together an interesting scientific program on the role of food science and food processing in the overall food supply. This is, in part, an extension of interest in food science and food processing to deliver foods with bioavailable fortificants; an issue on which the branches have worked individually and on which some of Latin American branches have recently cooperated. There is added context because the term “processed food” is increasingly being seen as something inherently negative.

Experts, primarily from the public sector, will explore a variety of themes related to food science and food processing.

The event will be held in Bogotá, Colombia on 18 – 20 October. Details and a draft program are available (in Spanish): programa

If you or a colleague are interested in this meeting, please contact Javier Castellanos, ILSI Latin American Branch Coordinator:

Please note, this meeting will be conducted in Spanish.