In January the trade group Council for Responsible Nutrition US (CRN) announced it would be requiring all its members to submit product labels for dietary supplements marketed in the US to the Office of Dietary Supplements’ (ODS) Dietary Supplement Label Database (DSLD).
The move was called “a first, and necessary, step” toward improving transparency in the supplement industry and reigning in rogue players that jeopardised the reputation of all.
“This marks the start of a new era for our industry. Our members can no longer allow those companies skirting the laws to tarnish our reputation.
“This first step toward greater transparency for regulators and researchers is long overdue, and we strongly urge others in the industry to work with us on this and future initiatives that will ultimately build a stronger industry,” Steve Mister, CRN president and CEO, told our sister site NutraIngredients-USA at the time.
“Ours is a tale of two industries—companies that follow the law versus those who don’t—and we are starting today to create a clearer divide between those factions.”
For food law expert Dr Luca Bucchini, managing director of Rome-based Hylobates Consulting, the initiative should be mimicked in Europe.
“A single database could greatly simplify mutual recognition, with a single portal for consumers, businesses and authorities across the EU,” he told us.
“It is true that the regulatory pressures are different in the US and in the EU, but it is time for the EU food supplement industry to regain the initiative and put forward new ideas to the EC, the public and member states.”
He said despite some online retailers providing product labels, there had been slow progress on the transparency trend in Europe, for which there was considerable consumer appetite.
“There are countries which require notification of food supplements and have public lists of notified supplements, but nobody can see the actual labels.”
Mister said the database could help authorities find products that contained banned substances like DMAA, an issue not unique to the US.