CRN Calls on Officials to Classify Dietary Supplement Facilities as Essential During COVID-19 Pandemic

Washington D.C., March 19, 2020 — The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), the leading trade association for the dietary supplement and functional food industry, recognizes that dietary supplements are a vital part of the health and wellness regimens of most Americans. Even as the nation takes decisive action to fight the pandemic, dietary supplement facilities must be classified as essential during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis so that the sourcing, manufacture, transportation, testing and sale of these products can continue. 

“On an ordinary day, these products play an important role for the health and well-being of consumers, and it is critical that we ensure continued consumer access to these products during this public health pandemic,” says Steve Mister, president & CEO, CRN. “This is not the time to jeopardize consumer access to these products. Simply put, they matter more than ever right now.”

Recent sales data and reported outages in stores testify to the fact that consumers rely on these products. CRN is currently advocating aggressively for the continued functioning of the entire dietary supplement industry during the pandemic by reaching out to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Coronavirus Task Force, members of Congress, governors, mayors and local officials.

“CRN supports the recent actions by federal, state and local officials in the effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and understands the role of limiting non-essential commerce to protect the health and safety of the public,” says Mr. Mister. “We believe it is vital for key industries like food and healthcare product manufacturing, including dietary supplement facilities, to be considered essential as these sectors produce products that promote better health and provide consumers with critical nutrients they need every day.”

More than three-quarters of Americans take dietary supplements and rely on these products as part of their health and wellness regimen. 

“We recognize there is well-established research demonstrating how dietary supplements can play an important role in supporting health and wellness, and now is not the time to deny consumers access to these beneficial products,” says Luke Huber N.D., vice president, scientific & regulatory affairs, CRN. “At the same time, we encourage the public to remain vigilant for fraudulent products. No supplement may claim to cure, treat or prevent COVID-19, and any product that says it does should be avoided.”

Consumers should continue to follow guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), seek products from trusted brands and providers and always consult a doctor or healthcare practitioner for advice on using supplements effectively. 

The letters in which CRN joined with other food and health industry groups in making this appeal:

The white paper CRN issued today describing the dietary supplement industry in particular as an essential industry that must continue functioning even as measures to prevent disease expand:


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 LinkedIn