NSF Cracks Down on Misuse of Certification Seals


So far this year, NSF announced 11 cases of companies misusing its certification seals.

A company has been found guilty of misusing the NSF International (Ann Arbor, MI) certification seal. On October 29, NSF reported that cherry juice brand Cherrish fraudulently used the NSF certification symbol on its original ready-to-drink beverage when in fact the product was tested and denied certification based on levels of arsenic and calories per serving exceeding the NSF program’s thresholds. While misuse of the NSF certification seal does not happen often, it does happen-and NSF says it is continually policing the marketplace to ensure that its certification seals, including its NSF Certified for Sport program and organic certification by NSF division Quality Assurance International, are used properly.

“NSF will take the most appropriate enforcement action needed to stop the violation, which may include placing product and inventory on hold, destruction of product, de-listing, recall, legal action, public notice, cancellation of contract, or other legal actions,” says Jason Shields, NSF's international product certification operations and technical manager.

When NSF does certify a product, it means the product has been tested-including formulation review and material analyses-to ensure it meets NSF’s specific safety and quality requirements. Inspections are ongoing, with NSF performing regular, unannounced on-site inspections and re-testing to ensure that products continue to comply with standards.

So far this year, NSF announced 11 cases of companies misusing its certification seals. Violations include unauthorized or misuse of NSF certification marks on packaging, literature, websites, or advertising; misleading language implying products are certified when they are not; or previously certified products continuing to use seals when in fact certification has since been revoked or not renewed.

In the case of the Cherrish juice and its violation notification, NSF identifies a specific product lot number, AZ230142.

The company encourages consumers to check its website, updated daily, to confirm whether products are certified by NSF International. It also encourages industry self-policing. “If one sees a company or product that is not certified by NSF International that is claiming that they are, they can complete an online complaint/feedback form anonymously on NSF’s website or e-mail regulatory@nsf.org,” Shields says.

Read more about NSF’s various certification options.


Jennifer Grebow
Nutritional Outlook magazine jennifer.grebow@ubm.com



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