After a year of discussion and deliberation, the Omega-3 Working Group of the US-based Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) has approved a draft voluntary monograph for omega-3 EPA and DHA.
The monograph will be distributed to a broad audience for comment and review, including other members of the dietary supplement industry, regulators, standard-setting bodies and researchers with an interest in omega-3 fatty acids.
The Working Group will carefully consider all comments prior to finalising a voluntary monograph, and once this has been completed it will push for its adoption by official standard-setting bodies in the US and internationally.
Robert Orr, president, Ocean Nutrition Canada and chairman of the CRN Omega-3 Working Group, said that the purpose of the voluntary monograph was "to strengthen quality standards for omega-3 EPA and DHA products, which have been shown to have significant health benefits including reducing the risk of heart disease."
Sam Zeller, director of regulatory affairs at OmegaTech and chairman of the CRN Omega-3 Working Group's Technical Committee, said: "The proposed quality standards are more stringent than those required by any other monographs applicable to such products, including those established by the AOAC International, American Oil Chemists Society, US Pharmacopeia or European Pharmacopeia. In addition, the tolerances established for potential contaminants are even lower than those currently required under California's Proposition 65, reflecting the purity and high quality of carefully processed omega-3 oils."
The proposed voluntary monograph also establishes maximum levels for indicators of oxidation and establishes a uniform assay method for EPA and DHA.
The proposed monograph and explanatory notes are available on the CRN website. Comments may be submitted to Annette Dickinson, 1875 Eye St., N.W., Suite 400, Washington, DC 20006 or email@example.com by 31 May.
The Council for Responsible Nutrition's Omega-3 Working Group currently consists of 26 companies including major worldwide suppliers of omega-3 oils.