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While the guidelines are not mandatory for CRN members, they are recommended.
The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN; Washington, DC) has issued recommended guidelines for caffeine-containing dietary supplements, including energy drinks, energy shots, and a range of other caffeine-supplement dosage forms. The guidelines relate to labeling and disclosure of caffeine content, as well as serving size and daily intake recommendations, among others.
The guidelines are effective as of April 1, 2013. While they are not mandatory for CRN members, they are recommended, and CRN hopes its member companies-as well as others in industry-will adopt these guidelines within a year.
The guidelines focus on five core areas. First, labeling: Manufacturers are urged to disclose on their product labels the total amount of caffeine per serving in a product, stemming from both added caffeine and caffeine from natural sources (such as green tea extract, coffee bean extract, guarana, or yerba mate). Manufacturers are especially encouraged to list the amount of caffeine from natural sources if it totals more than 25 mg per serving.
CRN also recommends that products with total caffeine content of more than 100 mg per serving, from any source, include label advisories for children, those sensitive to caffeine, pregnant or nursing women, and those with a medical condition or taking medication. (E.g., “This product is not intended (or recommended) for children and those sensitive to caffeine” and “Pregnant or nursing women, those with a medical condition, and those taking medication should consult a healthcare professional before use.”)
CRN also discourages companies from marketing or promoting the use of caffeine-containing dietary supplements in combination with alcohol.
As Nutritional Outlookrecently reported, under current food and dietary supplement rules, companies must list added caffeine as an ingredient on product labels-but they do not need to disclose precisely how much caffeine is in a product, which is what CRN and other associations, such as the American Herbal Products Association (Silver Spring, MD), advise.
“These recommendations go beyond what is required by law, but our member companies, along with the conventional beverage industry, recognize that consumers would benefit by having information that lets them know how much caffeine is in the products they choose to take,” says Steve Mister, CRN president and CEO.
“This is one example of how responsible companies in our industry are taking proactive steps to educate consumers so they can make informed decisions about caffeine-containing supplements, and we trust consumers will be mindful of the amounts of caffeine they are getting from all sources,” he adds.
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