The American Herbal Products Association Board of Trustees adopted on Nov. 3 a motion to oppose a mandatory requirement for dietary supplements to be registered with the Food and Drug Administration.
The AHPA Board also reiterated the position it adopted in March that supplement companies should submit their labels to the Dietary Supplement Label Database maintained by the National Institutes of Health's Office of Dietary Supplements and National Library of Medicine.
"The existing Dietary Supplement Label Database is an effective platform to provide consumers with the same type of information that would be provided by mandatory product registration," said Michael McGuffin, AHPA president. "Before reinventing the wheel by creating another registration system, the supplement industry and federal government should work to improve this existing resource to help inform consumers."
The free database allows consumers to find information that sellers provide on dietary supplement labels including contents, ingredient amounts and health-related product statements, claims and cautions. It also provides a downloadable photo of each label. The DSLD, which contains 50,000 labels, is expected to grow during the next three years to include most of the estimated more than 75,000 dietary supplement products sold to American consumers. The database is updated regularly to include any formulation changes and label information in a product.
The Office of Dietary Supplements recently requested input from academic researchers, government agencies, the dietary supplement industry and other interested parties regarding improvements to the database. Comments must be submitted to ODS@nih.gov by Nov. 27 to be considered. AHPA will be submitting comments in response to this ODS notice.