CRN Responds To “Supplement Safety Now” Initiative

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 2, 2009 — In response to a press conference call held today on “Supplement Safety Now,” an initiative from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and other organizations, the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), issued the following statement:

Statement by Steve Mister, President and CEO:

“We share the concerns of Travis Tygart (USADA Executive Director) and his colleagues at Major League Baseball, the National Football League, and a coalition of other organizations, about rogue companies that sell illegal drug products labeled as dietary supplements. This kind of criminal activity is dangerous to consumers and also negatively impacts the overwhelming majority of dietary supplement companies that are committed to following the laws. We strongly encourage regulatory agencies to continue to take the enforcement actions available to them under the law, including criminal sanctions, against these companies.

CRN commends USADA and the other supporting organizations for today stepping forward in a united front to find ways to get these illegal products removed from the marketplace. Where CRN can find common ground on the solutions, we look forward to potentially partnering with these organizations on ‘Supplement Safety Now.’ We further appreciate Mr. Tygart’s clarifications that marketers of anabolic steroids are already breaking the law and that these rogue companies undermine the credibility of the responsible dietary supplement industry, which strives to provide high-quality products to better consumers’ health and wellness.

CRN believes that the current regulatory framework is more than adequate to support the objectives of ensuring consumers’ access to safe supplement products—if the laws are enforced. That being said, there are enhancements to the current laws that are recommended in ‘Supplement Safety Now’ that CRN supports. For example, we agree with USADA that we need the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clarification on the New Dietary Ingredient (NDI) notification process, as well as FDA enforcement to punish companies who do not submit NDI notifications. These actions, along with rigorous inspections of manufacturing facilities under existing Good Manufacturing Practices, would help ensure that all new ingredients entering the market are safe, if used correctly.

It is important to reiterate that laws are only as good as the regulatory agency’s determination and ability to enforce them. Some of the recommendations made under ‘Supplement Safety Now’—which are well-intended—may not be very effective. For example, while CRN supports a registry of products with FDA, we do not believe that companies that are illegally contaminating products would bother to register. We believe that the best way to catch these offenders is to give the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and FDA more resources to enforce the laws already in place and to show these criminals that there are penalties to breaking the law.

Additionally, educational efforts, such as those by FDA, which reminds consumers not to use body building products represented as containing steroids or steroid-like substances, can go a long way toward helping consumers make smart choices for their health. More than 150 million Americans use dietary supplements each year and this includes athletes who use legitimate sports nutrition products.

CRN intends to continue its dialogue with USADA to find ways that we can help support this initiative and solve this problem that affects consumers and industry alike.”


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

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