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Supplements industry establishes ingredient information exchange

Better flow of information between ingredients suppliers and end-product makers, greater efficiency and speedier transactions will be the result of a data exchange initiative, according to the leading US supplement groups behind it.

"This cooperative effort between the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), and the Natural Products Association (NPA) provides a practical product information guideline, available online at each trade association's Web site," the groups said in a prepared statement.

Called Standardized Information on Dietary Ingredients (SIDI), the protocol aims to overcome "discrepancies and confusion" in gathering data on dietary ingredients.

"With thousands of raw dietary ingredients in use today, and thousands of buyers and sellers of these ingredients, identifying and properly qualifying the appropriate ingredient from a trustworthy source is a time- and resource-consuming process," the groups said.

Linda A. Suydam, president of CHPA, said, "This model protocol will help streamline this process and benefit the industry and its consumers."

The SIDI protocol includes three standardized information sheets:

  • Product Information Data Sheet — includes subsections for nonbotanical and botanical ingredients, and product-specific physical, manufacturing and regulatory information.
  • Site Quality Overview — evaluates fundamental site-specific manufacturing practices and quality systems of suppliers.
  • Supply Chain Security Overview — provides an overview of a supplier's plans to protect ingredient and supply continuity while preserving proprietary details of security controls.

Product Information Data is available at the trade groups' Web sites, with the final two sections to be posted in coming months.

"This initiative will increase productivity and assist in understanding, analysing, controlling and documenting the manufacturing process all the way through the supply chain, which will be mandated when the [Good Manufacturing Practises] are posted for dietary supplements," said Daniel Fabricant, NPA's vice president of scientific affairs.

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