In response to a press conference today held by Senator John McCain (R-AZ) introducing, "The Dietary Supplement Safety Act of 2010," the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), the leading trade association representing the dietary supplement industry, issued the following statement:
Statement by Steve Mister, President and CEO, CRN:
"The responsible dietary supplement industry represents the health and wellness interests of more than 150 million Americans who use dietary supplements each year. The number one priority for CRN and our members is to ensure that our consumers have access to safe, beneficial products that they can incorporate into their daily wellness regimens. We have consumers' health and best interests at heart because we recognize that without our consumers, we would not exist as an industry.
Over the past several years, CRN has successfully lobbied to increase the regulation under which the supplement industry operates, working to ensure that dietary supplement manufacturers are required to report serious adverse events to FDA; to get FDA to issue and implement supplement-specific good manufacturing practices; to remove anabolic steroids from the supplement market; and to increase funding for FDA's enforcement efforts. CRN also has publicly supported most of the recommendations from the GAO report, including the recommendation for an annual registration of dietary supplement facilities as well as mandatory recall authority for FDA -- both of these provisions are included in the Senate Food and Drug Administration Food Safety and Modernization Act legislation, S.510, that CRN supports and hopes to see pass this year.
We do not believe that requiring manufacturers to report all adverse events -- not just serious adverse events -- would do anything to protect consumers. Instead, it could do the opposite by stretching the Agency beyond its limits. FDA itself has stated that this would overburden the Agency and would not help protect consumers. The best way to help consumers is through collaborative efforts with industry, government and other stakeholders, such as USADA, to implement the current laws, to provide more resources and funding to FDA, and to pass the food safety bill, which already includes many of these provisions.
CRN looks forward to the opportunity to study the legislation and find common ground with the sponsors and supporters of this legislation. Where specific provisions are extensions of positions we have already supported and lobbied for, we applaud more voices joining with ours. But where the legislation would deter retailers from offering a wide variety of legitimate supplements to consumers or would overburden manufacturers, we will seek alternate solutions.
Dietary supplements have a very strong safety profile and consumers should continue to feel confident in the supplements that they are taking. Our consumers are our industry's greatest asset and CRN continues to be dedicated to ensuring that consumers have access to safe, beneficial products that can positively impact their health."
Council for Responsible Nutrition