TORONTO, Jul 10, 2006 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES) and NSF International (NSF) announced a new certification program for Canadian consumers and athletes designed to minimize the risk that a dietary supplement or sports nutrition product contains prohibited substances many of which are included on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited List. The certification process will concentrate on the categories of stimulants, anabolic steroids, beta-2 agonists and masking agents.
At a July 10 press conference, the CCES announced a new partnership with NSF International, an independent, U.S. based, not-for-profit organization that certifies products and writes standards for food, dietary supplements, water and consumer goods. To help guide those interested in avoiding prohibited substances in supplements, CCES recognized the NSF Certified for Sport(TM) mark on products as a key indication that sport nutrition products have undergone stringent review through the NSF Athletic Banned Substances Certification Program.
"Canada's new Government is dedicated to protecting the integrity and spirit of sport to ensure that all athletes compete on a fair and equal basis," said the Honourable Michael Chong, Minister for Sport. "We are pleased to support the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport in their efforts to promote ethical conduct in sport, and we applaud this certification program."
Ongoing research has indicated that an overwhelming majority of Canadian national team athletes rely on nutritional supplements, in the belief that they may help meet the heavy demands of their training, travel and competition schedules.
There have, however, been a number of cases in the past of Canadian athletes testing positive for the presence of a prohibited substance and the source of that substance being attributed to supplement use. Under the rule of strict liability in the World Anti-Doping Code, athletes are responsible for any substance that may be found in their body. If an athlete tests positive for a prohibited substance, this can result in serious sanctions being imposed, regardless of how the substance entered the athlete's body.
"While the CCES does not promote the use of supplements, we do recognize that athletes use them. Therefore, we need to assist our athletes in choosing the most trustworthy supplement products," said Joseph de Pencier, Director of Ethics and Anti-Doping Services and General Counsel for the CCES. "NSF's independent product verification and certification process is an important step forward in helping Canadian athletes, and consumers, make informed decisions about nutritional or sport nutrition supplements."
"The NSF Athletic Banned Substances Certification Program is designed to create peace-of-mind for athletes and health conscious consumers who are concerned that supplements may contain prohibited substances," said Kathleen Jordan, MS, RD, Director of NSF's Athletic Banned Substances Certification Program. "The athletic community has expressed a real concern that many supplements may contain undeclared ingredients that could lead to positive testing for prohibited substances. Our certification program directly addresses these concerns and provides a focused solution specifically on supplements."
Products bearing the NSF Certified For Sport(TM) mark will indicate that a supplement manufacturer has undergone stringent evaluation criteria, including product testing for prohibited substances and label content confirmation, formulation and label review, production facility inspections, and ongoing monitoring. Once a product is certified, it will be listed on the NSF International website at www.nsf.org.
The program, which is focused primarily on the sports supplement manufacturing and sourcing process, provides key preventive measures to:
-- Protect against adulteration of products
-- Verify label claims with product contents
-- Identify presence of athletic prohibited substances in the finished product
The foundation of the program is built on the principles of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). This involves a consistent process whereby products are manufactured under conditions that certify freedom from contamination and provides independent review of a manufacturer's product label claim. Additionally, any manufacturer, finished product company or ingredient supplier that currently manufactures a steroid or steroid precursor or any other prohibited substance is excluded from participating in the program.
The NSF Athletic Banned Substances Certification Program builds on the organization's expertise in dietary supplements and functional foods. NSF developed and maintains the only accredited American National Standard to certify dietary supplements. This standard, NSF/ ANSI Standard 173, ensures that the actual product contents match those printed on the label.
In addition to CCES recognition of the program, the NSF Athletic Banned Substances Certification Program has been recommended by key athletic organizations, including Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association. Professional, amateur and recreational athletes as well as coaches, trainers and parents will now be able to look for a specially designed NSF Certified for Sport(TM) Mark on sports supplement labels. Similarly, in 2004, NSF worked with the National Football League (NFL) and NFL Player's Association to develop and administer the NFL/NFLPA Supplement Certification Program, a first-of-its-kind program designed for professional football.
For additional information, visit the NSF Web site at: www.nsf.org/business/athletic_banned_substances or call 1-800-NSF-MARK, (+1) 734-769-8010.
The CCES (Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport) is a Canadian independent, national, non-profit organization, whose mission is to foster ethical sport for all Canadians. This is carried out through research, promotion, education, detection and deterrence, as well as through programs and partnerships with other organizations.
About NSF International:
NSF International, an independent, not-for-profit organization, helps protect you by certifying products and writing standards for food, water, air and consumer goods ( www.nsf.org). Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting public health and safety worldwide. NSF is a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Food and Water Safety and Indoor Environment. Additional services include safety audits for the food and water industries, management systems registrations delivered through NSF International Strategic Registrations, Ltd., organic certification provided by Quality Assurance International and education through the NSF Center for Public Health Education.
NSF Certification Guidelines www.newswire.ca/en/releases/mmnr/cces/NSFGuidelines-June2006.pdf