NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., April 3, 2003 - On Tuesday, March 25, more than 100 dietary supplement and natural product industry retailers, manufacturers, and suppliers from across the country joined their industry peers in Washington, D.C. for the National Nutritional Foods Association's 6th annual lobbying event, Natural Foods Day. Natural Foods Day was designed to broaden the natural products industry's base of political support. The event consisted of an early morning briefing session and breakfast before participants adjourned to attend pre-arranged meetings with various congressional leaders. Attendance at this year's event remained strong compared to previous years in spite of the United States' military engagement overseas nearly a week before.
Natural Foods Day 2003 began with a morning session discussing the legislative process and how best to maximize lobbying time on the Hill. Political insiders, including NNFA's lobbyists and legal counsel were on hand to discuss the issues of the day and provide tips on how to communicate important issues effectively. In addition, attendees were addressed by key government officials, including Rep. Chris Cannon (R-Utah); former Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman; Deputy Director of the Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health Rebecca Costello, Ph.D.; Sen. Tom Harkin's Chief of Staff Peter Reinecke; and House Government Reform Committee Staff Member Beth Clay.
Attendees then spent the afternoon in meetings with lawmakers and key staff members from their district and state. The evening concluded with a reception featuring the presentation of NNFA's 2003 Congressional Champion Awards. On hand to receive their awards were Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa); Representatives Cannon, Dan Burton (R-Ind.); Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio); Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-N.J.); and Travis Jones on behalf of Sen. Larry Craig (D-Iowa). Unable to attend, but who also received awards were Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Harry Reid (D-Nev.).
"This year's event was one of NNFA's most successful lobbying efforts to date," said NNFA Executive Director and CEO David Seckman. "With a variety of bills and issues in Congress threatening to change our industry, participants effectively faced the challenge of conveying to our nation's leaders the impact of these issues, in particular, the importance of preserving DSHEA."
The National Nutritional Foods Association (www.nnfa.org) is the nation's largest and oldest non-profit organization dedicated to the natural products industry. NNFA represents more than 4,000 retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors of natural products including foods, dietary supplements, and health/beauty aids.
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