CRN revises membership requirements, dues structure

WASHINGTON — The Council for Responsible Nutrition on Wednesday announced changes to its bylaws, offering new classes of membership and a revised dues structure. The move allows more kinds of companies to join the association "to more fully recognize the evolving nature of the dietary supplement industry."

“CRN has been fortunate to see a steady stream of membership growth in recent years, and with these changes to our membership categories and dues structure, we are poised to welcome even more companies who manufacture or market dietary supplements or functional foods," stated Steve Mister, CRN president and CEO. "In addition, our new dues structure recognizes that many industry players have multiple roles, and more fairly reallocates the obligations of membership. Together these revisions will strengthen CRN and the future of our industry.”  

CRN now recognizes four categories of voting members — branded finished product manufacturers, contract manufacturers, ingredient manufacturers and ingredient representatives/distributors — each with different dues rates.

In addition, CRN now offers a four-tiered dues structure in the associate member category, dependent on the size of the company, making membership more affordable for single practitioners. “The bottom line,” Mister said, “is we value the role of our associate members and their continued contribution to the industry, and we needed to recognize that one-size-fits-all dues was not the ideal model for this category.”  

The revised by-laws also address the functional food category. Unlike dietary supplements, there is no regulatory definition for functional foods. Although CRN has welcomed functional food companies for over a decade, the new by-laws create a definition as “any product that is properly labeled as a ‘food’ (i.e., uses a Nutrition Facts label) under the U.S. Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act, that is formulated specifically to increase the intake of certain nutrients or other compounds and for which the manufacturer makes structure/function or health claims in its labeling.”

CRN will continue to represent store brand retailers of all sizes — those who market their own unique store brands of dietary supplements or functional foods, both brick and mortar and online. The change clarifies that these firms pay dues based only on the dietary supplements and functional foods they market under their own labels and allows them to have a voice in directing the future of the industry through CRN membership.

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