U.S. and Japanese leading supplement associations announce collaborative alliance

Washington and Tokyo (June 5, 2008) – With aging baby-boomers beginning to face health challenges that could increase the cost of quality healthcare, three leading associations today announced a collaboration to facilitate the sharing of regulatory and legislative information between officials in the U.S. and Japan. This joint effort will make dietary/food supplements, which can help to reduce those healthcare costs, more accessible to Japanese consumers and foster increased trade between the two countries.

William Rahn, President of the National Nutritional Foods Association of Japan (NNFA-J), Steve Mister, President and CEO of the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), and David Seckman, Executive Director and CEO of the Natural Products Association (NPA), announced their associations will share news of emerging regulations and legislation impacting health claims, food safety, food ingredients and dietary/food supplements. The collaboration will help both countries understand how their counterparts are addressing these issues and help develop science-based approaches to these challenges.

“A delegation of CRN and NPA scientists and executives from member companies will return to Tokyo this summer,” NNFA-J’s Rahn said, “to meet with Japanese industry as represented by NNFA-J.” The associations will jointly establish a working group or a cooperation committee on the occasion and plan to discuss concrete measures for effective alliance.

“Emerging research is increasingly supporting the safety and benefits of supplements for maintaining good health and reducing the risk of chronic diseases,” CRN’s Mister noted, “Regulatory approaches in both countries should likewise reflect good science to help consumers make healthy decisions.”

NPA’s Seckman said, “CRN, NPA and NNFA-J also will again meet with officials at the concerned authority to renew our call for permitting consumer-friendly, science-based health claims on supplements.” CRN and NPA also will highlight recent U.S. FDA regulatory efforts aimed at ensuring food safety and consumer protection.

“Officials from the concerned authority and the recently formed bipartisan Health Supplement Committee in the Diet are eager to meet with their American counterparts to better understand how the U.S. is addressing consumer health and food safety issues such as Japan faces,” explained NNFA-J's Rahn. “We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with CRN and NPA to facilitate this exchange of information as cooperation like this will certainly contribute to addressing issues surrounding the dietary supplement market in Japan. We are also planning to send a delegation from Japan to Washington later this year.”

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The National Nutritional Foods Association of Japan (NNFA-J), founded in 1999, is the leading association representing more than 88 companies who provide dietary supplement and health food products to consumers in Japan. The member companies include those from large-scale corporations to small-sized firms based in Japan, the United States and other countries. NNFA Japan's mission is to pursue a sound development of the nutritional supplement market in Japan that is built on consumer satisfaction and quality assurance for products, so that Japanese consumers can fully enjoy the benefits of being healthy.

The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) is the leading association exclusively representing ingredient suppliers and finished product manufacturers of dietary supplements in the United States. CRN companies produce a large portion of the dietary supplements marketed in the United States and globally. Its member companies manufacture popular national brands as well as the store brands marketed by major supermarkets, drug store and discount chains, and also include those marketed through natural food stores and mainstream direct selling companies.

The Natural Products Association (NPA), founded in 1936, is the largest and oldest non-profit organization dedicated to the natural products industry. The Natural Products Association represents 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 Natural Products Association'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.

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