Supplement Caucus Holds Capitol Hill Briefing

The Congressional Dietary Supplement Caucus (DSC), in cooperation with two leading trade associations representing the dietary supplement industry, the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) and the Natural Products Association (NPA), held a briefing on Capitol Hill last week to discuss the important role of dietary supplements in the ongoing wellness and prevention conversation.

The briefing included discussion of how supplements fit into the shifting of a system based on diagnosis and treatment to one of prevention and wellness. With the passage of healthcare reform, the wellness and prevention paradigm is gaining added attention as Americans look for ways to stay healthy longer, and dietary supplements are one of the tools consumers should consider.

Co-chair of the DSC, Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), shared his comments on the importance of dietary supplements as part of wellness and prevention, pointing out that education on healthier lifestyles can lead to a reduction in healthcare costs and an increase in the health of Americans. Rep. Polis, a champion for the supplement industry, said supplements, in combination with diet, exercise and a sufficient amount of sleep, are “smart choices in promoting good health.”

“Supplements used properly help prevent disease and promote good health as part of an overall healthy lifestyle,” Rep. Polis told attendees. He also said that “scientific evidence strongly suggests that the use of daily dietary supplements would be an effective way to address nutritional gaps” in deficient populations.

The luncheon briefing featured speaker David Grotto, a registered dietitian and president of Nutrition Housecall LLC, who discussed the important role of dietary supplements as part of a well-rounded nutrition program, particularly for those who don’t get all their nutrients from food alone. Mr. Grotto, a nationally recognized author, speaker and authority on nutrition, health and wellness, expressed that a wellness regimen includes a healthy diet, exercise and dietary supplements. “We know that a healthy diet and lifestyle, along with appropriate dietary supplements, can really make a difference in helping to mitigate” health problems, such as heart disease, cancer and stroke, Mr. Grotto told attendees.

Mr. Grotto said people have “lost touch” with the purpose of food and that “most people” are not meeting the Dietary Guidelines. “We don’t always necessarily eat the best every day of the week, so it does make sense to include some responsible dietary supplements along with that,” he said.

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.

The Natural Products Association (NPA), founded in 1936, is the largest and oldest non-profit organization dedicated to the natural products industry, representing more than 10,000 retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors of natural products, including foods, dietary supplements, and health/beauty aids. As the leading voice of the natural products industry, the NPA’s mission is to advocate for the rights of consumers to have access to products that will maintain and improve their health, and for the rights of retailers and suppliers to sell these products. Visit www.NPAInfo.org.

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