Underwriters Laboratories (UL; Northbrook, IL) will develop and administer the new industry-wide product registry for dietary supplements, the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN; Washington, DC) announced this morning. Following beta testing that will take place over the coming months, the product registry is expected to launch by the end of 2016.
The online registry is intended to provide a “one-stop shop” for industry regulators and retailers to browse full label information for finished dietary supplement products. As a condition of membership, all CRN member companies will be required to input their product labels into the registry by July 2017, although non-members are also “strongly encouraged” to participate in the registry at no cost.
After reaching out to numerous capable companies about creating and managing the products registry, CRN decided that “UL best fit the bill because of its broad knowledge of the supplement industry, its technical prowess, and its brand recognition for consumer safety,” said Steve Mister, president and CEO, CRN.
In addition to its latest work certifying dietary supplement manufacturing processes, UL currently manages the Prospector online database. The free online service offers safety information and technical data on ingredients and materials from thousands of suppliers in several different industries, including food and nutrition, personal care products, household cleaners, metalworking fluids, 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,” Mister said. “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.”
Industry-Wide Product Registry
In April, CRN announced that its board of directors had unanimously authorized the creation of an industry-wide registry for dietary supplement finished products. In hopes of increasing transparency, ingredient verification, and GMP compliance within the supplements industry, plans for the registry include separate tiers of information designed for different audiences.
While the registry’s first tier would be publicly accessible, free to participate in, and limited to information on product labels, the registry would also include a second tier that features a fee to include more in-depth indicators of product quality, such as third-party certifications or FDA inspections. The second tier would also be restricted to specified audiences, such as retailers and regulators.
Over the next few months, UL will test the registry with about six companies inputing their labels to a beta version of the database. The beta sample will include both small companies with just a few products and larger companies with hundreds of labels, CRN explained. If the testing goes well, the registry is expected to be up and running by the end of the year.
Mike O’Hara, general manager for UL’s global nutraceuticals division, added that UL appreciates this opportunity to help the supplement industry improve accountability for its products.
“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,” said Mike O’Hara, general manager for 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.”
Nutritional Outlook Magazine