CRN to create VMS product registry
WASHINGTON — The Council for Responsible Nutrition on Wednesday announced its board has unanimously authorized the creation of an industry-wide dietary supplement product registry to be launched by the end of the year. The registry will be developed and managed by a third-party vendor, and CRN plans to announce the results of that search later this spring.
“This is one step we’re making to take back our industry from the lawbreakers, from the renegades, from the companies that spurn regulation," stated Steve Mister, president and CEO CRN. "Our member companies have turned a corner and are fully engaged in efforts to separate the legitimate manufacturers marketing healthful products from the hit-and-run, fly-by-nighters selling quick fixes and illegal drugs wrapped with a supplement label. We need all companies who care about our consumers and the sustained growth of this industry to join with us in this initiative.”
According to CRN, the initiative is the latest in a growing number of the association’s self-regulatory projects, and comes at a time when the supplement industry is primed to work more closely together and with regulators to help solve the problems that have attracted increasing public scrutiny. “The days of the regulators sitting on their hands are long gone and we appreciate that we’re seeing stronger enforcement action of the law,” Mister said.
Mister noted that the product registry will initially serve the regulators and the retail community, with the ultimate goal of providing industry accountability to consumers as well. “We’re moving in a deliberate, step-wise fashion and layering initiatives that, when combined, will address transparency, ingredient verification, and GMP compliance,” Mister said.
CRN has formed a working group to resolve the specifics of the product registry, which is anticipated will contain multiple tiers of product information — some public-facing, which will be accessible to anyone and will permit participating manufacturers/marketers to add their products at no charge; and an add-on component which will provide more in-depth information about the products to specified audiences such as regulators and retailers.
Earlier this year, CRN announced what it called “a first, and necessary step” toward improving transparency in the supplement industry by requiring all CRN members as a condition of membership submit their supplement product labels to the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements Dietary Supplement Label Database. The industry product registry will serve as a companion piece to the ODS Label Database which “we understand is an important tool for the scientific research community," Mister said. "CRN continues to support ODS’s database and we intend for the product registry to interface in some way with the label database so companies will not have to engage in duplicative efforts.”
Mister noted the importance of working closely with the other trade associations and both member companies and non-member companies. When it comes to the industry trade associations, he said, “We’re cooperating on a number of initiatives that will contribute toward a stronger, more accountable industry—CRN is taking the lead on this one, and we will lend support as others take the lead on other initiatives. You can expect more announcements soon.”