NPA and Leading Supplement Retailers Unveil New Initiative to Promote Supplement Safety and Consumer Confidence

January 25, 2017

SSCI’s founding members are GNC, Walmart, Vitamin Shoppe, and Whole Foods.

The Natural Products Association (NPA; Washington, DC), together with the dietary supplement industry’s largest retailers, unveiled a new initiative in January that seeks to increase industry-wide quality assurance by benchmarking quality measures and standards. According to NPA CEO and Executive Director Dan Fabricant, PhD, the new Supplement Safety and Compliance Initiative (SSCI) is a first for dietary supplements.

SSCI is similar to the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) created by the food industry back in 2000 when food-industry members collaborated to promote harmonized food-safety management across the industry. Like the GFSI, the goal of the SSCI is to bolster consumer confidence in quality and safety, this time for dietary supplements. SSCI’s founding members are GNC, Walmart, Vitamin Shoppe, and Whole Foods.

“Similar retailer-driven initiatives have been developed for foods, but never applied to dietary supplements,” said Fabricant in a press release. “SSCI will continue to promote safety and consumer confidence in each step of the supply chain, from farm to store shelf.”

As part of its goal to unify and promote supply-chain quality measures, the SSCI says it has set the following goals:

  • Reduce supplement safety risks, recalls, and harms by delivering equivalence and convergence between effective supplement-safety management systems
  • Develop core competencies and capacity building in supplement safety to create effective global systems
  • Drive global change through benchmarking of all standards, domestic and international
  • Provide unique stakeholder platform for collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and networking
  • Manage costs by eliminating redundancy in certification and improving operational efficiency
  • Increase the number of qualified auditors available to manufacturers, further increasing consumer safety
  • Address the myriad of standards available globally by allowing various schemes in the international community to benchmark their standard to one overarching standard
  • Design a tiered structure that accommodates the unique needs of small ingredient suppliers (i.e. organic, wildcrafted herbs), manufacturers, and retailers.

 

As part of SSCI’s activity to benchmark domestic and international standards for dietary supplements throughout the supply chain and across the entire product life cycle, the initiative will focus on the following:

  • International benchmarking of schemes
  • Farmed ingredients
  • Feed production
  • Packaging
  • Pre-processing of plants
  • Production of (bio)chemicals
  • Production of packaging
  • Processing of plants perishable products
  • Processing of animals perishable products
  • Storage and distribution
  • Wildcrafted herbs
  • Matrices (liquid, powder, gummy, etc.)
  • Supplements (processing of finished product)

 

“This pioneering initiative sends a clear message to millions of consumers that they can have confidence in the safety and authenticity of the dietary supplements and natural products they use each and every day,” Fabricant said.

 

Jennifer Grebow
Editor-in-Chief
Nutritional Outlook magazine
jennifer.grebow@ubm.com