Should EU mimic US supplement label database?

By Annie Harrison-Dunn contact

- Last updated on GMT

'A single database could greatly simplify mutual recognition, with a single portal for consumers, businesses and authorities across the EU,' says consultant. © iStock.com / Sveta615
'A single database could greatly simplify mutual recognition, with a single portal for consumers, businesses and authorities across the EU,' says consultant. © iStock.com / Sveta615

Related tags: Div id=, Dietary supplement

A US trade group has made moves to increase transparency and traceability in the supplement market by requiring all its members to submit product labels. Should the EU be considering similar action?

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. 

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2 comments

should EU mimic US data base

Posted by HARRY,

YES

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EU and US- different in many ways

Posted by Robin Knopf,

Both entities have different registrations or not; definitions or interpretations as per their own Regulatory bodies. If we are to solely go by the US FDA regulations and just on the labeling aspect I believe a new division will need to be created by the FDA just to inspect labels for products coming from EU to be marketed in the US. It is an idea that I hope may come to fruition but will be a grand task because of our differences in dietary ingredient restrictions, etc. Will testing become a part of the protocol to see if the label matches the actual product?

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