WASHINGTON — The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) has retained global independent safety science firm UL to develop and administer a dietary supplement product registry.
The online product registry will include full label information for dietary supplements and be accessible via the web. CRN said Tuesday that the registry “will help create a fuller picture about the dietary supplement industry for industry regulators and serve retailers as a one-stop shop to help compare product labels.”
Under the agreement between CRN and UL, the registry is slated to go into an immediate development stage, followed by beta testing later this summer. The registry is expected to be in operation by the end of the year.
“We spoke with a number of very capable companies for this important project, but UL best fit the bill because of its broad knowledge of the supplement industry, its technical prowess and its brand recognition for consumer safety,” CRN president and chief executive officer Steve Mister stated.
According to CRN, UL is well-known to the dietary supplement industry and trusted by retailers who use the company’s Prospector database, a free service that provides manufacturers with technical data and safety information about the materials and ingredients used in consumer and industrial products, running the gamut from food and personal care products to household cleaners, paints and adhesives.
“We were also impressed with UL’s flexibility in accommodating the range of data fields we want to include that address the important quality discussions taking place within the industry,” added Mister. “We are confident that the dietary supplement product registry will provide a viable, adaptable product registry that will serve regulators, retailers, manufacturers and ultimately consumers over time.”
During the next several months, about a half-dozen companies — ranging from small firms with a few products to large companies with potentially hundreds of labels — will input their labels to a beta version of the database and provide feedback on the process and suggestions for improvements. CRN said its member companies will be required to input all of their product labels into the product registry by July 2017, and all dietary supplement companies will be urged to follow suit.
“We know the industry and we understand the sensitivities, complexities and determination involved in developing the right product registry that will allow for a core product accompanied by customization,” commented Mike O’Hara, general manager of UL’s Global Nutraceuticals division. “We take our responsibility here very seriously and look forward to working with CRN, its members and any company that wants to bring the industry to a higher level of accountability for its customers.”