The Office of Dietary Supplements at the National Institutes of Health is seeking input from academic researchers, government agencies, the dietary supplement industry and other interested parties to make the Dietary Supplement Label Database a more useful tool.
The office is specifically looking for suggestions for how the database might evolve. What features — such as search, sort, organization or downloading — might be added, improved or enhanced to make the database a more valuable tool for users? Comments must be submitted to ODS@nih.gov by Nov. 27 to be considered.
"There has been much discussion in the trade recently about the potential value of creating a repository of supplement labels," said Michael McGuffin, president of the American Herbal Products Association. "This call for comments by ODS presents an opportunity to make improvements to this existing database to best assist consumers to understand the supplement marketplace."
Earlier this year, the AHPA Board of Trustees encouraged members to submit their brands' labels for inclusion in the database. The AHPA board also recommended improving the accuracy of entries in the database, and redesigning the database to provide public access to only currently marketed labels.
AHPA will suggest strengthening the database by increasing the number and accuracy of supplement labels included and eliminating the display of old labels and out-of-date information.
The Dietary Supplement Label Database is a free resource that captures all information that sellers provide on dietary supplement labels including contents, ingredient amounts, and any health-related product statements, claims and cautions. It also provides a downloadable photo of each label.
The DSLD currently contains 50,000 labels, and it is expected to grow rapidly over the next three years to include most of the estimated 75,000-plus dietary supplement products sold to American consumers. The database is updated regularly to include any formulation changes and label information in a product. It also includes the labels of products that have been discontinued and are no longer sold.