The Natural Products Association (NPA) hosted industry stakeholders and supporters from across the nation for its 18th Annual Natural Products Day in Washington, D.C., on March 24. Attendance increased at the industry’s cornerstone advocacy event by 30 percent, and included a diverse range of retailers, suppliers and other industry members who met with over 90 members of Congress and staff to educate them on the industry’s issues and natural products’ role in preventive health and overall wellness.
The day included a well-attended reception on Capitol Hill, complete with attendees, legislators and congressional staff. Industry Champion Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, spoke on the trials the industry has faced, and how he will continue to support the industry in the fight against misinformation and unfounded attacks. Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., also addressed the attendees, voicing his support for the natural products industry.
The Natural Products Association Political Action Committee (NPA PAC) also hosted a reception the evening prior to Natural Products Day to help grow the industry’s influence with key legislators. The reception was highly attended, and Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., stopped by and spoke of his commitment to ensure businesses will thrive in today’s complex regulatory climate. Additionally, NPA’s Board of Directors met this past Monday, and were visited by Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D.
On the day of the event, attendees met directly with lawmakers and congressional staff members from their districts and states to educate them on the natural products industry. During these meetings, attendees shared position papers and backgrounders provided by NPA as leave behind materials to ensure entire offices were fully informed on the industry, and on the health and economic benefits of natural products.
Legislators and staff also learned about key issues the industry is facing, many of which NPA is currently running successful grassroots campaigns around, such as the multiple actions taken against the industry by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman despite a clear lack of authority, and defending the definition of organic as non-GMO in any pending legislation. The senators and representatives were also informed about the overly burdensome requirements being pushed on NPA members by the Federal Trade Commission. Other topics discussed included holding the Food and Drug Administration accountable in the regulation of dietary supplements, and possible cosmetics legislation that could soon be introduced.
“The more voices we have advocating for natural products will make our efforts even more successful and our industry even stronger. All industry members should take every opportunity to participate, and make a significant difference in the success of this industry,” said Daniel Fabricant, Ph.D., CEO and Executive Director of NPA. “The association will continue to connect members with lawmakers who impact their bottom line, but we need the help of all industry stakeholders, who can grow our influence year round by directly communicating with their senators and representatives. Events like Natural Products Day aren’t the only opportunity to raise your voice—by playing a role in NPA’s grassroots efforts, and encouraging others to do the same, you help solidify this industry as one with strength.
We appreciate our loyal members who stormed Capitol Hill on Natural Products Day to talk to their lawmakers about key industry issues. Every one of the meetings was a success, and we are hopeful that after getting our issues in front of members of Congress, we’ve cultivated future champions for our industry while continuing to nurture our existing relationships. We were especially pleased by the senators who showed their support by addressing attendees during the day’s events and provided their insight on the industry’s history and future.”
Dr. Fabricant led the breakfast and advocacy training session to kick off the day, along with NPA’s seasoned lobbyists. The training session gave attendees an outline on how to best educate their elected officials on the industry, as well as provided a run through of the specific industry issues to focus on while talking with legislators and congressional staff. This session prepared attendees for a successful lobby day, as well as provided the necessary tools to continue building strong relationships with their lawmakers.
NPA will continue to work with all members of Congress to strengthen the industry’s position in the political landscape. Learn how to get involved at NPAinfo.org.