1. Upper levels of intake should be established where data exist regarding risk of toxicity.

  2. Components of food of possible benefit to health, although not meeting the traditional concept of a nutrient, should be reviewed, and if adequate data exist, reference intakes should be established.

  3. Serious consideration must be given to developing a new format for presenting future recommendations.

Subsequent to the symposium and release of the concept paper, the FNB held workshops at which invited experts discussed many issues related to the development of nutrient-based reference values, and FNB members have continued to provide updates and engage in discussions at professional meetings. In addition, the FNB gave attention to the international uses of the earlier RDAs and the expectation that the scientific review of nutrient requirements should be similar for comparable populations.

Concurrently, Health Canada and Canadian scientists were reviewing the need for revision of the Recommended Nutrient Intakes (RNIs) (Health Canada, 1990). Consensus following a symposium for Canadian scientists cosponsored by the Canadian National Institute of Nutrition and Health Canada in April 1995 was that the Canadian government should pursue the extent to which involvement with the developing FNB process would be of benefit to both Canada and the United States in terms of leading toward harmonization.

Based on extensive input and deliberations, the FNB initiated action to provide a framework for the development and possible international harmonization of nutrient-based recommendations that would serve, where warranted, for all of North America. To this end, in December 1995, the FNB began a close collaboration with the government of Canada and took action to establish the DRI Committee. It is hoped that representatives from Mexico will join in future deliberations.


The 1993 symposium and subsequent activities have provided substantial evidence that a comprehensive, coordinated approach to developing DRIs is needed for diet planning, nutritional assessment, and nutrition policy development. The current framework is based on the following four assumptions:

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