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Elan Sudberg editorial

Fight, for your right, to data...

Supplement manufacturers have the power to advance the industry by choosing to work with suppliers and service providers that embrace transparency.

Kick it!

You open an email attachment from an ingredient vendor because you need to know.

You ask your contact for more data: "Please?" But he still says, "no!"

You missed five QC deadlines and your production manager looks at you like you're some kind of jerk.

You gotta fight for your right to data...

I recently ended a presentation with this graph of anecdotal data from my 20 years in this industry.

It’s my perspective when feeling snarky and cynical. What it shows is that, while access to tools and education on GMP compliance has improved over the last 20 years and willful ignorance has decreased, two data sets that have not improved are the industry's tolerance for lack of actual transparency and for proprietary methods or secret sauce.

Good news, everyone! You have the purchase power to choose only ingredient suppliers who embrace transparency and tell you exactly how they made your extract to your specification. You have the purchase power to work only with contract manufacturers who embrace transparency and buy the high-quality ingredients you want, and then develop test methods to back up the finished product label claims. You have the purchase power to work with contract labs that embrace transparency, share their methods and are open to dialogue when your material passes or fails so you can pinpoint the discrepancy and get meaningful test results.

You might be thinking, "Well, that sounds nice, but my budget for X, Y or Z is low so I do not have the purchase power actually..." But I encourage you to reject that assumption and fight for your right to data, because the price difference is magnitudes lower than the cost of a FDA 483 and a crisis PR campaign to repair your image and restore consumer trust.

So keep those specs high and "fight, for your right, to data..."

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