WASHINGTON, D.C., February 17, 2010 — “Summarizing all of the education work that the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) does on behalf of the dietary supplement industry is a difficult task,” says Nutrition Business Journal (NBJ) in the January 2010 NBJ Business Achievement Award & Executive Review issue. “Pretty much everything the trade association does incorporates some element of education that is directed at consumers, media, health practitioners, researchers, lawmakers or the industry itself… which is why Nutrition Business Journal is recognizing CRN with an Efforts on Behalf of the Industry award.”
“It wasn’t hard to figure out that CRN deserved this award this year. As an association, they’re so active, so visible, and do so much to help our industry, that we weren’t surprised at all when we heard from numerous sources that this association should be nominated for their educational outreach work. On behalf of the annual NBJ awards, we are proud to have named them as winners in this category. We are equally proud to be a member of such a responsible, forward-thinking organization that does much to advance the credibility of the dietary supplement industry,” said Carlotta Mast, NBJ editor.
According to NBJ, the award, which will be given out at the NBJ Summit on July 22, 2010, at the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point, Calif., is given to organizations that serve as beacons of hope and inspiration for the coming decade. Despite the many obstacles of 2009, including negative media headlines, the scientific “studies du jour,” the economy and changes on Capitol Hill, NBJ noted that the “2009 award winners proved that good things can be born amidst adversity.” CRN was given this award due to their work in engaging reporters and researchers, lobbying Congress and overall helping improve the climate for the dietary supplement industry through education.
“We are honored to receive the 2009 NBJ Education Award,” said Steve Mister, president and CEO, CRN, who plans to formally accept the award in person this summer. “Education is central to everything we do at CRN—it is what changes minds and convinces people of the benefits and safety of dietary supplements and of the credibility of the industry.”
One of the key initiatives that distinguished CRN from the competition is its consistent and strong media outreach program, which requires responding to reporters when inaccurate stories or facts about the dietary supplement industry are published.
“There were a number of articles published last year that incorrectly stated that the supplement industry is not regulated,” said Judy Blatman, senior vice president, communications, CRN, who leads the media outreach program. “CRN has been very successful in helping to counterbalance some of these negative articles by helping educate media about dietary supplements. Further, our proactive communications initiative, ‘Life…supplemented’ has gained traction in the media, and is particularly being well-received by social media outlets.”
The educational efforts don’t stop with the media. CRN’s initiative around expanding the paradigm of scientific research for the field of nutrition goes directly to the source of some of the media headlines, but has its roots in challenging the scientific community to more fully understand whether current approaches to nutrition research are appropriate.
“Nutrients and other bioactives are not drugs and do not behave like drugs in the body, so studying them using the traditional randomized-controlled trial designed for drug evaluation may not be the best way to study their benefits. Alternate approaches that take into account the unique properties of nutrients and bioactives need to be explored,” said Andrew Shao, senior vice president, scientific and regulatory affairs, CRN, whose department leads this initiative. Dr. Shao, along with Drs. John Hathcock and Douglas MacKay,are working to help the research community examine these issues and encouraging them to consider alternate approaches to evidence-based medicine.
Education on Capitol Hill continues to be a major priority for CRN, especially in light of a new administration and many changes in Congress.
“CRN has become a primary resource for members of Congress and their staff—whether it’s relying on us for accurate, scientific information on supplements, researching a policy issue, or just asking questions about dietary supplements,” said Mike Greene, vice president, government relations, CRN. In 2009, CRN, worked jointly with the Natural Products Association on three Dietary Supplement Caucus Luncheon Briefings to educate Congressional staffers about topics of interest in the dietary supplement industry.
In addition to these initiatives, CRN strives to educate healthcare professionals, in 2009 hosting continuing education programs for pharmacists and nurse practitioners, working with Drug Store News’ program. In addition, by hosting The Conference: CRN’s Annual Symposium on Dietary Supplements and webinars for dietary supplement industry executives, CRN provided educational forums to discuss critical issues that affect the entire industry.
“We could not do this work without the support of our members,” said Mr. Mister. “The past year has been a defining moment in time for the dietary supplement industry and though we are not out of the woods, we have begun to emerge as a stronger, more credible, powerful industry. If we can accomplish these achievements in times of turmoil, think of what we can accomplish with more support in the coming years. With your support, we can make an even bigger impact in the dietary supplement industry.”
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.