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CRN creates Supplement OWL advisory board

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WASHINGTON — The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) has formed an advisory board for the Supplement Online Wellness Library (OWL) dietary supplement product registry.

CRN said eight members have been appointed to the Supplement OWL Advisory Board, including representatives from dietary supplement companies and other industry stakeholders, as well as with two technical advisers.

Serving on the board are CRN president and chief executive officer Steve Mister; Jeff Brams, general counsel and vice president of science and international at Garden of Life; Michael Cleary, director of research and development for SmartyPants; Mike Devereux, CEO of Nature’s Way; Randy King, senior vice president of governance and compliance at New Chapter Inc.; Carlotta Mast, executive director of content and insights at New Hope Natural Media; Guru Ramanathan, chief innovation officer and senior vice president at GNC; and Pam Walker, head of global sales for materials and ingredients at UL.

The board’s nonvoting technical advisers are Duffy MacKay, senior vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs at CRN, and Alec Miller, director of software development for UL.

“The advisory board brings together stakeholders from all corners of the supplement industry and provides a forum to discuss the forward progress of the Supplement OWL,” Mister stated. “The goal is to take a critical look at the registry and continually find ways to improve upon the successes already actualized, and find new ways to optimize the experiences of both users and participants.”

Mister noted that most of the board members have been involved with the Supplement OWL since its inception. “Having an intimate knowledge of the roots of the registry, the members of this board will be able to offer insight and constructive feedback that speaks to the OWL’s past, present, and future,” he commented.

Launched earlier this year, the Supplement OWL is an industrywide self-regulatory initiative that aims to create a more complete picture of the dietary supplement marketplace for regulators, retailers, and industry. The registry is intended to serve as a resource for identifying products, their ingredients and the companies who market them, as well as to facilitate the examination and evaluation of labels and other product information.

CRN spearheaded the Supplement OWL project effort by providing the initial funding and conceptual project management. Global independent safety science firm UL has invested funding in the development and administration of the registry and the technology for the database.

“As the Supplement OWL continues to gain momentum throughout the industry, it’s crucial that the registry evolves to accommodate increased demand and participation,” Mister added. “Though just six months old, the registry already contains an appreciable amount of product labels and is being noticed by regulators, retailers and other target audiences. Through its work and regular meetings, the Supplement OWL Advisory Board will ensure the registry lives up to its potential.”

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