CRN Responds to New GAO Report, Encourages Stronger Enforcement Action from FDA and FTC

Washington, D.C., June 16, 2017—In response to yesterday’s U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, “Memory Supplements: Clarifying FDA and FTC Roles Could Strengthen Oversight and Enhance Consumer Awareness,” the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), the leading trade association for the dietary supplement and functional food industry, issued the following statement:

Statement by Steve Mister, president & CEO, CRN:

“We appreciate the GAO report for calling attention to an issue that we are well aware of—and unwilling to tolerate—and that’s the issue of illegal products claiming to be ‘cure-all’ memory dietary supplements. We hope this serves as an important reminder that the best way to target fraudulent products is with a more educated consumer who refuses to be duped by exaggerated claims.

While promising research demonstrates certain dietary supplements can help to support brain function, the fact is that dietary supplements cannot cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent Alzheimer’s, dementia, or any disease. Products that mislead consumers into thinking otherwise are fraudulent and should be avoided.

We strongly support FDA and FTC taking aggressive enforcement against these fringe marketers, going beyond issuing advisories and taking much-needed regulatory action. We also support the need to sufficiently fund the Office of Dietary Supplement Programs at FDA as a sufficiently funded Office will have the resources to enforce against this troubling issue raised by the GAO.

To further help these agencies better understand the scope of the dietary supplement marketplace, the responsible industry is doing its part to create a more complete picture, through self-regulatory initiatives such as the newly-released Supplement OWL (Online Wellness Library) and CRN’s ongoing advertising review program with the Council of Better Business Bureaus. Finally, the industry is in alignment with FDA and FTC in making consumer safety our top priority, and we look forward to working together to protect consumers and continuing to meet their demand for safe, beneficial and quality products."

Note to Editor: 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 Follow us on Twitter @crn_supplements and @wannabewell and on Facebook