“It is scandalous that a product with several critical advantages and high quality scientific evidence to support it, can be blocked because of bureaucracy and vested interests”
Dr Steve Collins, Valid Nutrition’s Chairman, spoke candidly about his frustration at the shamefully slow pace of innovation and approval of better products to treat acute malnutrition. He presented the specific example of Valid Nutrition’s new recipe for therapeutic food (RUTF). This breakthrough, which follows from 14 year of research and development (largely funded by RUTF donors), has several clear benefits including: significantly lower cost, far better sustainability profile and is easier to produce in developing countries / regions where these products are needed.
He said it is scandalous that a product with high quality scientific evidence to support it, can be blocked because of bureaucracy and vested interests. He challenged those empowered to allow this recipe to be used, to act now. Doing so, will immediately lower the cost of treatment and allow hundreds of thousands more children to be treated within existing aid budgets.
At the Global Hunger Today Conference held at University College Cork, Dr Steve Collins raised challenging questions about undue delays in the implementation of robust, scientific evidence that can transform the numbers of malnourished children receiving treatment within existing budgets.
At the Global Hunger Today conference in UCC last week, Dr Steve Collins presented the results of a large-scale randomised controlled research study, demonstrating that an innovative new RUTF product made exclusively from ingredients grown in developing countries, is more effective than the currently available UN gold standard product, and around 20% lower in cost. He asked why, given the potential to treat almost an additional 1 million severely malnourished children within existing budgets, and the sustainable benefits that local manufacture of this recipe will have on developing countries’ agriculture, has the UN acceptance process so far made no progress in allowing this innovative life-saving product to be made available to those who need it? Would this scandalous waste of resources be tolerated in other sectors?