First-Ever International Forum On Lycopene Planned For April -- "Examining the Health Benefits of Lycopene From Tomatoes" Features Global Research

BLACKSBURG, Va., Feb. 19, 2003 – Scientists and researchers from around the world will reveal their latest study results and research at the International CeresÒ Forum "Examining the Health Benefits of Lycopene from Tomatoes." The forum is scheduled for April 1-2 in Washington, DC. Convened by the Center for Food and Nutrition Policy at Virginia Tech and sponsored by H.J. Heinz Company (NYSE: HNZ), this forum is the first of its kind, devoted exclusively to research exploring the health benefits of this powerful antioxidant.

Lycopene, an antioxidant that gives the tomato and watermelon their red hue, is a major carotenoid in many diets around the world. Lycopene consumption has been shown to reduce the risks of prostate cancer in men and breast cancer in women. Evidence is also building to suggest that lycopene consumption may also reduce the risks of cervical cancer, heart disease, male infertility, and osteoporosis.

Scientists from around the world will present their latest scientific research on the role of lycopene in human health. Educating consumers and health professionals about the health benefits of consuming lycopene-containing foods will also be discussed.

"We are pleased to present this international forum on lycopene," said Dr. Maureen Storey, acting director of the Center for Food Nutrition and Policy at Virginia Tech. "The researchers invited to present their findings have important information to share about the health benefits of lycopene for men and women."

The keynote address, "Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and Human Health," will be delivered by Dr. Johanna Dwyer. Dwyer is professor of medicine and community health, Tufts University School of Medicine; Director, Frances Stern Nutrition Center and Dietetic Internship, New England Medical Center; and Senior Scientist, Nutritional Epidemiology Program, Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts. Dwyer's research interests include food flavonoids, nutrition and quality of life, dietary risk factors for kidney disease and cardiovascular disease prevention in childhood (

The registration fee is $250 and includes break services and lunch each day plus all conference materials. For more information about the program, please contact Richard A. Forshee, Ph.D. with the Center for Food and Nutrition Policy at Virginia Tech, (703)535-8232 or Registration is available online at

About CFNP

The Center for Food and Nutrition Policy (CFNP) is an independent, non-profit center chartered at Virginia Tech. The mission of CFNP is to advance rational, science-based food and nutrition policy. It is recognized as a Center of Excellence on such matters by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The center is supported by gifts and grants from private foundations, government agencies, and the food and agriculture industries.

About Heinz

H. J. Heinz Company is one of the world's leading processors and marketers of high-quality ketchup, condiments, sauces, meals, soups, snacks and infant foods through all retail and foodservice channels. A host of favorite brands, such as Heinz® ketchup, Ore-Ida® french fries, Boston Market® and Smart Ones® meals and Plasmon® baby food are the growth drivers in Heinz's two strategic global segments: Meal Enhancers and Meals & Snacks. Heinz's 50 companies have number-one or number-two brands in 200 countries, showcased by the Heinz® brand, a global consumer icon with $2.5 billion in annual sales. Fourteen additional brands, each with more than $100 million in annual sales, generate a further $2.6 billion. Information on Heinz is available at or contact Shannon Severino (412)473-3415, (412)901-0528 (C)