Dr. Harris Steinman (MB.Ch.B. (UCT), D.Ch. (SA), D. Av. Med.), the director of the company, is a medical doctor and a researcher on allergy, intolerance, additives, preservatives and general food safety. He received his medical education from the University of Cape Town, and further training at the Red Cross Children's Hospital and in Prof. Paul Potter's Allergology Unit at Groote Schuur Hospital. He has received a variety of research awards, and he has published articles in leading journals on sulphur dioxide preservatives and pollution, hidden allergens, and the spread of allergic sensitisation in Africa, among other topics.

He has been the Allergy Society of South Africa's (ALLSA's) representative on the South African Department of Health's Food Advisory Legislative Group(FLAG) since inception.

He was an invited member of the United Nations Joint Food Agricultural Organisation/World Health Organisation Expert Consultation on "hidden"allergens in 1996. In January 2001 he was elected vice-chairperson at the United Nations Joint FAO/WHO Expert Consultation on the allergenicity of foods derived from biotechnology (GMOs). He is an advisor to the Department of Agriculture for the assessment of the allergenicity of GMO's. He is the author of a number of allergen reference books published by Phadia/Pharmacia Diagnostics, Sweden, the leading international allergy testing company.


Karen Horsburgh (B.Sc. Dietetics, Stellenbosch University) is a registered dietitian that assists companies with labelling, other regulatory matters, and consumer food reactions.

She has consulted on food labelling for 13 years, since working at the Nutrition Information Centre of the University of Stellenbosch (NICUS) and the Heart & Stroke Foundation. She assisted with compiling sections of the labelling regulatoins (R.146), lectures widely on the topic and consults to the public, media, dietitians and the food industry.


Carine Davies (B.Sc. Dietetics, University of Natal) assists with the marketing and communication of the company’s services. She has an interest in the impact of food production on the environment, and how food choice changes can impact the environment in a positive manner.

Once qualified she worked in Durban where she assisted in the development of weight loss and disease prevention programs. Carine relocated to Cape Town in 2000 where she worked as a private practising dietician, and later managed the Heart Mark for the South African Heart and Stroke Foundation where she assisted members of the public with queries on healthy eating and facilitated the process of food manufacturing companies applying and making use of the Heart Mark.

Debora van der Merwe (B.Sc., M.Sc. Food Science (cum laude), Stellenbosch University) works as a consultant food scientist for FACTS, assisting clients with regulatory compliance of food labels. She is interested in developments regarding health claims and the related regulations in South Africa.

She completed her PhD in Food Science in 2012. She has conducted research on several aspects of rooibos and honeybush teas since 2002 in collaboration with Stellenbosch University, the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) and Medical Research Council (MRC). Her research resulted in a specific interest in health properties, antioxidant activity and potential risks associated with polyphenol intake. While conducting her PhD research, she lectured part-time at CPUT and assisted with lectures on food packaging at Stellenbosch University. Debora has presented her work nationally and internationally and was awarded the Dreosti Award for the best oral presentation by a young South African Scientist at the International Union of Food Science and Technology (IUFOST) 2010.

Comaine van Zijl (BTech Food Technology (cum laude), Cape Peninsula University of Technology) is employed as an in-house consulting food technologist at FACTS and manages the administrative aspects of the FACTS Laboratory.

She previously worked in the wine industry as a student and later as Quality Assurance Manager in the complimentary medicine industry. Here she developed, implemented and continually improved quality management systems such as HACCP, ISO 9001, ISO 22000 and Organic. During this time she also gained experience in health product development, tablet formulation, Spirulina cultivation, production management and product labelling.

Shafeeqah Allie (graduate of the Raymond Ackerman Academy of Entrepreneurial Development) is responsible for the efficient running of the FACTS office and administration. She is currently furthering her studies at Cape Peninsula University of Technology with her major subjects being Information Administration and Business Administration.
Jana du Plessis (MSc Genetics, Stellenbosch University) works in the FACTS laboratory with her main area of expertise being on molecular testing. Her Masters degree from the University of Stellenbosch focused on molecular marker development that can be used to facilitate efficient breeding methods and ensure sustainability of commercial aquaculture populations. She has worked in the wine industry where she furthered her skills pertaining to wine laboratory analyses.

Cheryl Fox (M.Sc. in Biochemistry (Cum Laude), Stellenbosch University) joined the team in the FACTS laboratory in December 2014. She is experienced in principles dealing with structures, functions and interactions of biological macromolecules – nucleic acids, proteins, biological catalysts and steroids. During her Masters degree she investigated the physical and biochemical characteristics of P450c17 - an enzyme exhibiting exceptional functionality at a central crossroad in steroid biosynthesis and metabolism. Towards the completion of her studies, she independently consulted for DuPont Health and Nutrition SSA, in enzyme research and development and protein purification and later undertook a year’s contract with Dairy Innovation, acquiring knowledge and practical experience in food proteins, fresh-fermented applications and stabilising systems.

Lora Fourie (B.Sc. Human Life Science, LLB Stellenbosch University) admitted as an attorney of the High Court of South Africa in May 2014. She is currently a non practicing attorney at FACTS, where she is furthering her interest in the various regulations relating to foodstuffs in South Africa. Currently she assists in brand integrity projects for FACTS clients.

Gabrielle Jackson (BSc Dietetics, Stellenbosch University) is a Johannesburg based dietician, involved in conducting sample collections in Johannesburg and consults on food labelling for FACTS. She practices as a clinical dietician in a private hospital as well as private practice, giving her perspective of how the food industry is perceived by the general public as well as how food labelling and food allergies affects individuals.