The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), a trade association for the dietary supplement and functional food industry, on June 30 announced it has retained UL, a global independent safety science company, to develop and administer the dietary supplement product registry that CRN said “will help create a fuller picture about the dietary supplement industry for industry regulators and serve retailers as a one-stop shop to help compare product labels.”
The online product registry will include full label information for dietary supplements and be accessible via the web. The agreement between CRN and UL calls for the registry to go into an immediate development stage with beta testing to occur this summer and is expected to be up and running by the end of the year.
According to CRN President & CEO Steve Mister, “We spoke with a number of very capable companies for this important project, but UL best fit the bill because of its broad knowledge of the supplement industry, its technical prowess and its brand recognition for consumer safety.” Mister noted that UL is already well known by the dietary supplement industry and trusted by retailers who use the company’s Prospector database, a free service that provides manufacturers with technical data and safety information about the materials and ingredients used in consumer and industrial products, from food and personal care products to household cleaners, paints and adhesives. He added, “We were also impressed with UL’s flexibility in accommodating the range of data fields we want to include that address the important quality discussions taking place within the industry. We are confident that the dietary supplement product registry will provide a viable, adaptable product registry that will serve regulators, retailers, manufacturers, and ultimately consumers, over time.”
Mike O’Hara, general manager for UL’s Global Nutraceuticals division, expressed appreciation for the opportunity to help the dietary supplement industry gain traction in its renewed quest for improving accountability for its products. “We know the industry and we understand the sensitivities, complexities and determination involved in developing the right product registry that will allow for a core product accompanied by customization. We take our responsibility here very seriously and look forward to working with CRN, its members and any company that wants to bring the industry to a higher level of accountability for its customers,” he said.
Over the next few months, about a half dozen companies—ranging from small companies with only a few products to large companies with potentially hundreds of labels—will input their labels to a beta version of the database and provide feedback on the process and suggestions for improvements. CRN member companies will be required as a condition of membership to input all their product labels into the product registry by July 2017, and all dietary supplement companies will be strongly encouraged to do the same.
For more information, visit www.crnusa.org.