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CRN provides economic impact tool that could help industry lobby lawmakers

A new report and web tool details the “Impact of the Dietary Supplement Industry”-and the details on economic activity, jobs and taxes could be persuasive stories to tell lawmakers.

In an interview to be published in the Nutrition Business Journal tomorrow, retired senator and long-time supplements champion Tom Harkin provides some crucial advice on lobbying. The most effective lobbying, he said, “is done in your own state.”

Today, the Council for Responsible Nutrition gave the industry the tools and the ammo to do just that.

CRN’s economic impact report goes beyond the $121 billion the council claims the supplement industry contributes to the economy to provide a state-by-state registry of economic activity and the thousands of jobs provided. “Jobs” is the magic word of politics. 

According to the CRN data, the supplement industry provides 8,242 jobs in Colorado. In Oregon, it’s 5,244. In Utah, 11,640 people work in the supplement industry.

Politicians love jobs. They love taxes too. In Utah alone, the taxes generated totals up to $754 million.

What CRN provided the industry today is an argument for relevance that cannot be discounted. Supplements provide an amazing array of health benefits, but one adverse incident can negate a host of positive studies. CRN has a report on potential cost savings too—omega-3s could save $4 billion in cardiac care over seven years—but numbers, numbers with dollars attached, may end up being a more convincing argument. It’s certainly a clearer story to tell.

And CRN just made telling that story easier.

CRN staged its annual visit to Capitol Hill today, taking executives from 40 companies to meet with senators and representatives. They will arrive in those offices armed with these reports.

But Harkin’s advice is worth following. Take the lobbying local. Take it where the jobs are. State by state.

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