National Nutritional Foods Association's Dietary Supplement Manufacturing Certification Program to Enter Fifth Year

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., Nov. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- In January of 2003, the National Nutritional Foods Association's (NNFA) Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) Certification Program will enter its fifth year of verifying to consumers that dietary supplements are manufactured according to high standards. The third-party certification program includes inspections of dietary supplement manufacturing facilities to determine whether specified performance standards on a number of measures, including quality control, cleanliness, receiving and testing of raw materials, are being met.

The program, which was the first large-scale effort of its kind in the supplement industry, was launched in January of 1999 with the first certifications issued in July of that year. To date, 40 companies, among them some of the largest manufacturers in the industry representing more than 15,000 products, have been awarded certification and the opportunity to use NNFA's GMP seal on their product labels.

"In the absence of a federal regulation for dietary supplement manufacturing standards, NNFA decided to take the lead," said David Seckman, NNFA's executive director and CEO. "While we expect a proposal for federal standards at any time, it could still stay take years before a regulation will actually be implemented."

In 1994 the Food and Drug Administration gained the power to develop manufacturing standards for dietary supplements as a result of the passage of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, but has yet to do so. In the meantime, dietary supplement manufacturers are required to adhere to good manufacturing practices for foods.

The goal of the NNFA GMP Certification program is ensure that all elements of the manufacturing process are reviewed, so that products meet their intended quality. Third-party onsite inspections of manufacturing facilities cover such areas as: disease control, cleanliness and training; establishment of a quality control unit, test methods and expiration dating, and procedures for storage and distribution.

Once certified, member manufacturers are given a compliance rating. A member supplier must receive an "A" rating in order to pass. Those who receive either a "B" or "C" rating, must correct deficiencies and submit for a re-audit. Certified companies are audited every three years to verify continued compliance with NNFA GMPs.

A complete list of NNFA GMP Certified companies can be found at .

Headquartered in Newport Beach, Calif. the National Nutritional Foods Association ( ) is the nation's largest and oldest non-profit organization dedicated to the natural products industry. NNFA represents nearly 5,000 retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors of natural products, including foods, dietary supplements, and health/beauty aids.

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