Washington, D.C., March 20, 2017—“Responsible industry supports the full enforcement of regulations governing dietary supplements and is investing in meaningful self-regulatory programs to complement those regulations,” emphasized the Council for Responsible Nutrition’s (CRN) Duffy MacKay, N.D., in a presentation to 15 attorneys general (AGs) and their staff at the Conference of Western Attorneys General 2017 Chair’s Initiative, held March 14–16 in Honolulu, Hawaii. In his presentation, Dr. MacKay reviewed how the industry is regulated and stressed the crucial role self-regulation plays in increasing compliance, improving transparency, and helping to protect consumers.
Dr. MacKay, senior vice president, scientific & regulatory affairs, CRN, likened regulation to a four-legged stool, noting four key areas that form the foundation for dietary supplement regulation: 1) ingredient safety; 2) manufacturing controls; 3) claims evaluations; and 4) post-market surveillance. Using the same analogy to illustrate the intent of self-regulation, Dr. MacKay explained how such initiatives fortify industry’s efforts to complement and strengthen laws already in place. Dr. MacKay mentioned some of the ways in which industry is proactively initiating self-regulation, highlighting science-based guidelines and best practices for ingredients, CRN’s partnership with the National Advertising Division to help rid the market of unsubstantiated advertising claims, and the creation of the SIDI Work Group , a partnership between three industry trade associations to develop guidelines for ingredient vendor/supplier qualification. Engaging in efforts that demonstrate a willingness to go above and beyond what is required, Dr. MacKay explained, allows industry and regulators to maintain a collaborative relationship and increases the positive dialogue surrounding dietary supplements and the valuable role they play in the lives of more than 170 million Americans.
Highlighting the industry’s latest self-regulatory efforts, Dr. MacKay dedicated a portion of his presentation to detail the Supplement OWL (Online Wellness Library), the dietary supplement product registry. Describing the Supplement OWL as a “single authoritative registry of dietary supplement product information,” Dr. MacKay gave the AGs an exclusive look inside the new tool and demonstrated the ways in which it will benefit regulators by creating a rich and more complete picture of the marketplace. Further, Dr. MacKay explained that the Supplement OWL, set to launch publicly next month, will demonstrate industry accountability and transparency by making product labels available in one, online portal for registry users to examine and evaluate as needed.
Dr. MacKay’s presentation furthers CRN’s commitment to serve as a resource for AGs interested in learning more about the industry. “Like the attorneys general, our top priority is to protect consumers,” said Rend Al-Mondhiry, associate general counsel, CRN, who manages CRN’s AG outreach efforts. “Engaging in ongoing, thoughtful, informative dialogue with AGs about dietary supplements and existing regulation is just one of the ways CRN hopes to stop illegal activity that puts consumers at risk and damages the reputation of legitimate companies.”
About CRN: The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), founded in 1973, is a Washington, D.C.-based trade association representing 150+ dietary supplement and functional food manufacturers, ingredient suppliers, and companies providing services to those manufacturers and suppliers. In addition to complying with a host of federal and state regulations governing dietary supplements and food in the areas of manufacturing, marketing, quality control and safety, our manufacturer and supplier members also agree to adhere to additional voluntary guidelines as well as to CRN’s Code of Ethics. Visit www.crnusa.org. Follow us on Twitter @crn_supplements and @wannabewell and on Facebook.