The Supplement OWL (Online Wellness Library) is now accepting product labels from dietary supplement finished product manufacturers and marketers as the product registry moves into its phase two of beta-testing.
Nine companies served as original beta-testers, working with UL, the global independent safety science company who is developing and administering the Supplement OWL, to improve the process of inputting product labels. According to Erik Eberhart of UL, “It was incredibly helpful to have these companies test the product registry, and their input allowed us to better understand where the challenges were and how we needed to meet those challenges to improve the product.”
The Supplement OWL is now moving beyond the original beta-test and the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), who is providing the initial funding and has been coordinating efforts with the industry, is urging companies to test out the product by inputting labels into the product registry prior to its public launch in January. Duffy MacKay, N.D., senior vice president, scientific and regulatory affairs, advised, “Our goal is to make this process as efficient and easy as possible, and the sooner companies start the process, the more we can all learn together how to reach that goal.”
This important phase will demonstrate the scalability of the Supplement OWL, a necessary component for the product registry to become a valuable resource for its intended audience of regulators, retailers, the industry and ultimately, consumers. Once there are a substantial number of product labels incorporated into Tier 1 of the Supplement OWL, it will be launched publicly and available at no charge.
Tier 1 will include a copy of the complete product label and various fields of information about the product, including ingredients, brand name, allergen statements, number of servings and more. Participation in this tier is free for any company who is willing to supply the required information about its products and will be accessible online at no charge to the public. There are two additional important elements in Tier 1:
1) companies will be required to provide manufacturing and packaging facility contact information accessible only to FDA; and 2) each product entered will generate a unique product identifier which will have potential use as the Supplement OWL gains traction among its various audiences.
UL, in consultation with CRN, and other industry leaders, will soon begin developing Tier 2.
CRN president & CEO Steve Mister commended UL and those companies—both CRN members and non-members—who have put in so much effort to date to ensure that the Supplement OWL is meeting its targeted deadlines and keeping the project moving forward. “This is a case of the industry demonstrating its cooperation, its maturity, and its willingness to add self-regulatory initiatives to supplement government regulation.”