The cooperative event will include discussions on the benefits and importance of dietary supplements and functional food products, as well as the economic impact of the industry, among other key issues.
The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN; Washington, DC) and the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA; Silver Spring, MD) are joining forces for the annual Day on the Hill advocacy effort on June 21 in Washington, D.C. CRN has hosted this event for 14 years; this year’s event is the first to be jointly run by both CRN and AHPA. The cooperative event will include discussions on the benefits and importance of dietary supplements and functional food products, as well as the economic impact of the industry, among other key issues. This collaboration enables the organizations to “take an active role in advocating for reasonable regulation” that is mutually beneficial to both groups, say Steve Mister, president and CEO, CRN, and Michael McGuffin, president, AHPA.
“Partnering with CRN for this event amplifies our collective voice and demonstrates a strong, unified industry that is committed to building productive relationships with members of Congress and their staff,” said McGuffin in a press release. “The more voices singing from the same songbook makes it that much easier to be heard, and we’re looking forward to joining the choir with CRN.”
During the event, members from CRN and AHPA will spend a full day in face-to-face meetings with various Congressional offices, including members of the Energy and Commerce Committee; the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP); and other committees that interact in some way with manufacturers and suppliers in the supplements industry. Last year’s Day on the Hill featured 60 individual meetings with key House and Senate offices, during which CRN members shared the results of an economic report showing that the industry contributes nearly $122 billion to the U.S. economy. Among other topics, members presented new plans to create an industry-wide dietary supplement product registry, and encouraged legislators to support and fund FDA’s new Office of Dietary Supplement Programs.
.This year, members of both CRN and AHPA will focus on garnering support for the following issues: legislation that would allow consumers to use their Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) or Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) to purchase dietary supplements; requesting that Congress provide sufficient funding and support for FDA’s new Office of Dietary Supplement Programs; advocating for legislation that would permit low-income Americans to use Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for multivitamins; support for the Botanical Sciences and Native Plant Materials Research, Restoration, and Promotion Act; and support for the industry’s commitment to self-regulatory efforts, such as the industry-wide Supplement OWL product registry created by CRN and Good Agricultural and Collections Practices (GACPs) for botanicals; and encouraging Congressional participation in the bipartisan, bicameral Dietary Supplement Caucus (DSC).
“This is CRN’s 14th consecutive advocacy event, and we’re pleased to team up with AHPA this year,” said Mister in a press release. “Congress has long been asking industry to speak with a unified voice, and this year’s partnered event is a way to demonstrate that we’re ready to tear down our silos and come together for the good of the industry-and our consumers.”
Mike Greene, senior vice president, government relations, CRN echoed Mister’s statement, saying: “It makes sense to join forces with AHPA, as both trade associations advocate for reasonable solutions that enable the industry to innovate and grow while serving the interests of the more than 170 million Americans who take dietary supplements. We want to demonstrate to Congress that industry wants to work together, and partnering with AHPA is a great way to show we’re serious about getting things done. There’s power in numbers, and CRN’s voice, coupled with AHPA’s, takes this fly-in to a new and more impactful level.”
In addition to the Day on the Hill meetings, the Dietary Supplement Caucus (DSC), the bipartisan group of House and Senate members who “work to raise congressional awareness of supplements and the laws and regulations governing the industry,” will host a luncheon briefing for congressional staffers featuring guest speaker Christie Pearce (formerly Rampone), Olympic gold medalist and World Cup champion for soccer. All Day on the Hill participants are invited to attend.