In response to the Senate hearing of S 510, The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FDAFSMA), 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:
"CRN applauds the Senate for holding a hearing on S. 510 and announces our association's support of the Food and Drug Administration Food Safety and Modernization Act (FDAFSMA), aimed at protecting the nation's food supply. In light of recent food-borne illnesses, the food industry, as well as consumers, can no longer afford to wait for food safety reform. While no single bill can fully address the breadth of food protection challenges, FDAFSMA is a large step forward in making sure that Americans are adequately protected.
To date, this legislation represents what may be the best opportunity to lead a national, if not global, agreement on food-borne illness protection. The legislation will require annual registration of food manufacturing facilities. It will also give FDA new authority to mandate food recalls and require companies to develop food safety plans to address high risk junctures in manufacturing where avoidable contamination might occur.
The dietary supplement industry, which is regulated as a category of food under the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, has a strong commitment to ensuring that consumers have access to high quality and safe dietary supplement products. Over the past few years, new regulations and laws, including the release of the good manufacturing practices (GMPs) specific to dietary supplements, which ensure that dietary supplement products are made to high quality standards, have brought renewed focus to maintaining consumer confidence in the quality of dietary supplements. The GMPs are now in effect for the vast majority of the dietary supplement industry, with many large manufacturers having already been inspected and passing these inspections. Similarly, the serious adverse event reporting (AER) law, which requires manufacturers to report all serious adverse events to FDA, has helped with post-marketing safety surveillance of dietary supplements. In fact, as we will be announcing later this week at The Conference, CRN's annual symposium on dietary supplements, consumer confidence in the safety, quality and effectiveness of dietary supplements reached a high point this year*, which is likely due in part to these laws and regulations that can give consumers more confidence in the dietary supplement products that they are using.
More than 150 million Americans use dietary supplements each year and CRN and its members firmly believe that the provisions included in FDAFSMA will help develop a preventive food safety system, capable of keeping consumers safe in a global marketplace. CRN hopes that adding our support to the many voices calling for enactment of reasonable food safety legislation will increase the likelihood of passage and implementation of improved food safety laws."
The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), founded in 1973, is a Washington, D.C.-based trade association representing dietary supplement manufacturers and ingredient suppliers. In addition to complying with a host of federal and state regulations governing dietary supplements in the areas of manufacturing, marketing, quality control and safety, our 70+ manufacturer and supplier members also agree to adhere to additional voluntary guidelines as well as CRN's Code of Ethics. Visit www.crnusa.org.
*Since the CRN Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements began asking the confidence question in 2001.