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The inaugural meeting of the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics (ISAPP) was held May 3 to May 5 2002 in London, Ontario, Canada. A group of 63 academic and industrial scientists from around the world convened to discuss current issues in the science of probiotics and prebiotics. ISAPP is a non-profit organization comprised of international scientists whose intent is to strongly support and improve the levels of scientific integrity and due diligence associated with the study, use, and application of probiotics and prebiotics. In addition, ISAPP values its role in facilitating communication with the public and healthcare providers and among scientists in related fields on all topics pertinent to probiotics and prebiotics. It is anticipated that such efforts will lead to development of approaches and products that are optimally designed for the improvement of human and animal health and well being. This article is a summary of the discussions, conclusions, and recommendations made by 8 working groups convened during the first ISAPP workshop focusing on the topics of: definitions, intestinal flora, extra-intestinal sites, immune function, intestinal disease, cancer, genetics and genomics, and second generation prebiotics.