International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
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Notes from the history of SCIVU
(Science Council of IVU)

From The British Vegetarian, March/April, 1968:


The developments in the various branches of communication have, for the first time, brought the nations of the world into close contact. Developments in science and technology have brought about the revolution in communications, and are controlling and fashioning our lives on an ever-increasing scale. Although the achievements of science are perhaps overshadowed by the menace of the nuclear weapon, and it is impossible to be complacent in view of very many problems to be overcome, the potentialities for the advancement of the human population are very great.

In such an international situation the worldwide vegetarian movement has a great responsibility to contribute to the debate and especially to explain its policies for the solution of the world food problem. The movement simply must be prepared to contribute to the dialogue which is now taking place on these problems, and the matter has engaged the attention of members of the Science Council of the International Vegetarian Union (S.C.I.V.U.) and the Vegetarian Nutritional Research Centre for some time. These members are now agreed that the time is opportune for presenting the case for plant foods, and have entered into an agreement with the Pergamon Press, the well known international publishers of scientific books and journals, for the publication of a new international quarterly science journal. The journal is to be launched in the spring, under the above title.

It will contain abstracts of scientific articles dealing with the use of plant foods in solving the world food problem, and pre-pared by abstractors helping S.C.I.V.U. in different countries. Over twenty scientists are already engaged in this important work, and more offers of help are steadily coming in. Nearly 200 abstracts have already been pre-pared of articles from about fifty different journals and almost half of these will appear in the first number. Different sections of the abstracts will deal with (a) the sources of plant foods, viz., leaves, fruits, nuts, pulses, cereals, roots, micro-organisms and fungi; b) their nutritive values due to their contents of different nutrients, including carbohydrates. fats, proteins and essential minerals and vitamins, with a special section devoted to vitamin B12, its possible relationship to the biological value of proteins and the use of the vitamin in the treatment of various neurological mani-festations.

Other sections will cover supplementary plant protein foods, vegetable milks and texturised plant proteins and will also deal with food contaminants, including radio-active substances, pesticide residues, hormones, toxins, chemical additives, pathogenic microrganisms and plant food hygiene.

Factors affecting food production will be considered under irrigation, fertilisers (chemical, organic and veganic) and effects of germination, food cycles, plant/animal ratios, food pyramids and space nutrition.

Economic aspects will include yields, costs, dietary surveys, food preservation and the acceptability of processed plant foods.

The journal will also feature a series of review articles on special topics by well known experts; these will be illustrated with special diagrams. Comprehensive references will be given to original papers including those that have been abstracted in the journal. Articles will also be published giving original information about the latest research and describing in detail important investigations in plant foods including analytical data, and the results of physico-chemical and microbiological assays and clinical trials. It is also hoped to make a special feature of book reviews.

The policy of the journal will be decided by an Advisory Council appointed annually by the committees of the Vegetarian Nutritional Research Centre and of S.C.I.V.U. The present members, all vegetarians, are (in alphabetical order):

  • DR. FREY ELLIS. Kingston Group Hospitals, Kingston-uponThames who with a number of medical and scientific colleagues, has during the last five years been studying the health and nutrition of vegans and vegetarians, in comparison with meat-eaters.
  • MR. W. S. JAMES, M.Sc., Dept. of Education, Bristol University, a member of the Scientific Sub-Committee of V.N.R.C. since its establishment in 1959, and Chair-man of the Centre since 1964.
  • DR. GORDON LATTO, President of the Vegetarian Society, Vice-Chairman of S.C.I.V.U.
  • DR. E. LESTER SMITH, F.R.S., discoverer of vitamin B12 in this country in 1948. Head of Biochemistry Dept., Glaxo Labs. (until 1967). a member of V.N.R.C. Scientific Sub-Committee since 1960.
  • DR. ALAN LONG. Glaxo Labs.
  • Mr. J. W. LUCAS, B.Sc., F.R.I.C., Deputy Head and Lecturer, University of Manchester Radiological Protection Service. food radio-chemist, Hon. Secretary S.C.I.V.U.
  • MR. C. J. VESFY. M.Sc., Hon. Secretary V.N.R.C. 1959-1964 and 1967 onwards. Med. Res. Council Clinical Genetics Research Unit, Univ. Dept Clin. Neurology, London.
  • DR. F. WOKES, F.R.I.C., Director of Ovaltine Res. Labs. 1941-l959, and Director of V.N.R,C. from 1959 onwards.

The Editorial Board responsible for the running of the journal is appointed by the Advisory Council with approval of V.N.R.C and S.C.I.V.U. Committees. Its present members, who are experts in their subjects, are in alphabetical order:

  • PROF. A. M. ALTSCHUL, International Agricultural Development Service. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. One of the world's leading specialists on plant proteins.
  • DR. R. BIRCHER, 8703 Erlenbach, Zurich. Chairman of S.C.I.V.U., Editor of "Der Wendepunkt".
  • DR. H. A. B. PARPIA, Central Food Technological Research Inst. Mysore, India. Director and leading authority on the produc-tion and testing (mainly by clinical trials) of processed plant protein foods for human consumption.
  • DR. E. F. SCHUMACHER, Economic Advisor to the National Coal Board, London.
  • PROF. W. SCHUPHAN. Federal Centre for Research on Quality in Plant Production, Director. Geisenheim/Rhine Germany. Author of Nutritional Values in Crops and Plants and of many research papers on plant foods.
  • MR. C. WINSTEN, Nuffield College, Oxford.
  • DR. F. WOKES, V.N.R.C. Editor in Chief.

Goodwill messages for the success of the new journal have been received from many interested in this project, including Lord Boyd Orr, the first Director General of F.A.O.. and Dr. Boerma, who became the new Director General at the beginning of 1968. The Committees of the Research Centre and of S.C.I.V.U. are very gratified with the support being given to PLANT FOODS FOR HUMAN NUTRITION which they hope will play a worthy part in advancing world health and happiness.

"The hope is that wisdom may prevail and the great powers of science be applied in co-operation by all nations to create a wonderful new era free from the intolerable evils of war, poverty and disease." Lord Boyd Orr, "As I Recall, 1967.

Footnote: Anyone wishing to receive further details about the journal should send to Dr.Wokes at 1 Ellwood Gardens, Garston, Watford, Herts, a stamped addressed foolscap envelope for an illustrated brochure.