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CRN board gives staff go-ahead on product registry

CRN board gives staff go-ahead on product registry
The Council for Responsible Nutrition will create a product registry and put it in operation by the end of 2016.

The Council for Responsible Nutrition board of directors unanimously approved the development and deployment of a product registry for supplements last month. The council made the announcement this week, with a pledge that the registry will be in operation by the end of 2016.

CRN staff has been exploring the idea since the council’s October conference, presenting more specific plans to the board of directors last month. Though CRN President and CEO Steve Mister says the registry will “evolve,” the plan now is for a tiered system. The first tier will contain a simple label and ingredient information and will be accessible by the public, though that access may not be available at launch. Additional tiers will provide more in-depth information and be available to retailers and regulators.

The registry is designed to help regulators know how many companies are in the industry and what products and ingredients they are offering. It will be left to the companies to decide whether and how they will declare on the label that the product is registered. There is no seal or stamp in the works, Mister said.

Mister says the board indicated they are eager for CRN to engage with regulators. “They want us to continue to have conversations with the FDA to be sure that if there are things that the FDA particularly would like to see in this, that we can try to see that those are included,” Mister said.

CRN is also working with other trade associations on the project, Mister said. The registry was discussed at a United Natural Products Alliance “Supply Chain Summit” in February. CRN received an NBJ "Efforts on Behalf of Industry" Award last month.

CRN already requires members to submit information to the National Institutes of Health Dietary Supplement Label Database. Mister has said the registry will “interface” with the database in some way. CRN also keeps an FDA warning letters database, but there are no plans to tie that into the registry at this point, Mister said.

CRN is looking at vendors to create the registry, with a contract announcement expected by late spring.

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