New Protein Powder Report Deserves Scrutiny, Not Panic

Washington, D.C., March 1, 2018In response to a new report on protein powder supplements, published by the Clean Label Project, the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), the leading trade association for the dietary supplement and functional food industry, issued the following statement:

Statement by Andrea Wong, Ph.D., vice president, scientific & regulatory affairs, CRN:

“Dietary supplement and functional food marketers are always looking for ways to improve their products and exceed consumer expectations for quality and transparency, so this study by the Clean Label Project deserves careful scrutiny as an opportunity to improve. The fact that this study allegedly detected contaminants in higher-than-acceptable levels is concerning to CRN, but, with the limited information that was disclosed, we are unable to decipher the facts. CRN has some reservations about the conclusions and data analysis that should also be considered:

  • A detectable level of a contaminant is not necessarily an unsafe level—it merely means that the instrumentation is sophisticated enough to detect it.
  • In the interest of its mission of increased transparency, the Clean Label Project should provide insight into how its product rating system is quantified. Its star rating system appears to be subjective and fails to give consumers the information to make informed purchasing decisions.
  • It is not surprising that plant-based protein sources may have detectable levels of certain naturally occurring compounds as plants naturally absorb minerals from the soil in which they grow.
  • All dietary supplements are required to meet quality standards, and those that do not meet requirements established by Good Manufacturing Practices are subject to enforcement action by FDA."

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.