Washington, D.C., June 10, 2016—More than sixty dietary supplement industry executives representing forty member companies of the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), the leading trade association for the dietary supplement and functional food industry, met with members of Congress this week to discuss pressing issues facing the dietary supplement industry and its consumers. The event, held June 8 on Capitol Hill, gathered industry attendees to visit with offices and committees relevant to manufacturers and ingredient suppliers of dietary supplements and functional foods.
“CRN’s Day on the Hill provides an important opportunity for dietary supplement industry executives to have in-depth, face-to-face conversations with key legislators and their staff on issues critical to the industry and to the more than 150 million Americans who take supplements,” said Mike Greene, vice president, government relations, CRN. “As always, we are grateful to those on Capitol Hill who took time out of their busy schedules to speak with our member companies regarding important matters surrounding the industry. The success of our industry hinges on frank, clear and fruitful discussion with members of Congress—we are pleased that this year’s Day on the Hill achieved this on so many levels and look forward to more dialogue and collaboration in the future.”
Interspersed with more than 60 individual meetings with key House and Senate offices, the full-day event featured speakers including Representatives Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), Markwayne Mullin (R-Oklahoma), Jared Polis (D-Colorado) and John Shimkus (R-Illinois), and Senators John Boozman (R-Arkansas) and Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia). Participants and congressional staff also took part in a Dietary Supplement Caucus briefing featuring Michael Murray, N.D., director, Product Science and Innovation, Natural Factors and Board of Regents, Bastyr University, who presented the latest scientific developments within the essential nutrient category and highlighted the role of dietary supplements in greater health and wellness.
CRN and its members shared information about a new dietary supplement product registry recently announced by CRN as part of the industry’s efforts to ramp up self-regulatory initiatives. Supplement industry representatives also encouraged legislators to provide adequate funding for, and support of, FDA’s new Office of Dietary Supplement Programs (ODSP). If properly funded, FDA’s newly created ODSP would afford strengthened regulatory attention to the growing supplement industry and increase FDA’s enforcement activities and priorities, protecting both the health and the wallets of consumers.
Additionally, industry participants encouraged legislators to support the inclusion of multivitamins in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Women, Infant, Children (WIC) special supplemental program. At a time when both programs remain critically important to many low-income families across the country, industry representatives reinforced the potential of multivitamins to support nutrition and overall health, and to enhance the quality of life for those struggling to provide nutritious food options.
In conjunction with the Day on the Hill, CRN launched a new economic analysis, “2016 Economic Impact of the Dietary Supplement Industry,” which demonstrates that the dietary supplement industry contributes $121.6 billion to the U.S. economy, creates 754,645 jobs nationwide, and pays $38.4 billion in wages, illustrating the industry’s significant and growing economic contribution. The reports’ results and full methodology are accessible on CRN’s website.
For more information on CRN’s Day on the Hill (including photos from the event), the economic report or other issues important to the supplement industry representatives, please contact CRN directly for comment.