NBJ
Nutrition Business Journal Dark Issue 2

Don't be afraid of the Dark Issue

Nutrition Business Journal's Dark Issue 2 illuminates some of the shadier corners of the supplements industry.

The Nutrition Business Journal’s mission is to lead the conversation on the future of supplements—even if it means leading the discussion into the darkness. That was the purpose of the first ever Dark Issue a year ago, and the conversation continues in a second edition. Purchase your copy here

Read Rick Polito's Editor’s Letter from Dark Issue 2 here:

Bring a flashlight
When we published the first Dark Issue a year ago, we weren’t sure how our subscribers would react, but it took less than 24 hours for the congratulatory emails from readers to start coming in. It was called "refreshing and bracing." It was the buzz of Expo West 2016, and I was still getting pats on the back six months later at Expo East. It was the first time in my life I’d been called "a mover and shaker."

We started thinking about this year's Dark Issue almost immediately. It was a given.

It was also a little harder to put together. We’d hit the obvious issues and villains last year. This year we had to lean in a little closer to look for the stories you will read here.

I am not saying the industry reformed overnight. I am not saying there is a lack of challenges facing supplement makers.

I am saying it’s time to look past the broad brush wielded by the media and so many industry insiders. It's time to venture into the weeds and not just start pulling them but start seeing where the roots are connected and digging them out.

We do some of that in this issue. We look at sloppy science and what it means when the peer in "peer review" is a graduate student squeezing a glance at a study in between course assignments. We look at companies perhaps too eager to rush into the nano space. We look into the curious matter of kratom.

What we could do more of is take a harder look at ourselves. I was certainly one of the people patting myself on the back last year. I have said that the Dark Issue was the smartest thing NBJ has ever done. I made sure everybody I talked to heard about every one of the compliments the first Dark Issue received. I’ve also said I want NBJ to be the place where the conversation continues. I am not sure I have accomplished that. To stay engaged I need to be talking and listening to every CEO and staffer reading these words. Emails are good. Calls are better.

In short, we need to add voices to the conversation, and we all need to listen to what those voices are saying. I need guides on that safari into the weeds. We need those guides to help us trace the roots to the source. We all need that to happen. The Dark Issue isn’t about raging against the darkness. It’s about peering into it, exploring it.

Join us on that exploration. And bring a flashlight.

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