ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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ANSI Releases Report of Dietary Supplements Standardization Coordination Meeting

Participants Agree on Principles of Cooperation

7/11/2019

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) today released a report of its May 13th meeting in Washington, DC on standardization’s role in advancing safety, quality, and trust in the global supply chain for dietary supplements. The meeting, which drew 58 attendees from 37 organizations, representing manufacturers, retailers, government agencies, trade and professional associations, consumer organizations, and others, culminated in a discussion of and agreement on guiding principles of cooperation to move the industry forward.

Topping the list of participants’ aspirational goals is to build consumer confidence in dietary supplements and trust throughout the supply chain. A companion goal is to ensure the safety, quality, and integrity of dietary supplements and ingredients. Participants also identified a number of strategies representing components of robust and responsible industry self-regulation aimed at achieving these goals. These included:

  • Ethical practices and good faith efforts to work in the public interest to reduce safety and health risks to consumers
  • Networking, and collaborating on industry solutions and best practices
  • Exchanging data and maintaining information in a publicly available registry
  • Establishing meaningful benchmarks, requirements, and quality outcomes
  • Relying on transparent, open, voluntary consensus standards and technical materials
  • Periodic assessments by competent auditors to measure conformance with these standards
  • Consumer communication

A key focus of discussion was the interplay between two recent initiatives: 1) a new certification program devised by the Global Retailer and Manufacturer Alliance (GRMA) against the ANSI/NSF 455-2 standard on good manufacturing practices for dietary supplements, and 2) the Supplement Safety and Compliance Initiative (SSCI) benchmarking guidance documents released for public review at the end of March. Both efforts represent significant steps forward by the dietary supplements industry.

The meeting was the second such gathering organized by ANSI in six months and included industry activity updates and sharing of stakeholder perspectives. Speakers included representatives of:

  • the National Institute of Standards and Technology on best practices in devising effective conformity assessment programs
  • the Federal Trade Commission on its cooperation with the Food and Drug Administration to address unfair, deceptive, and unsubstantiated marketing claims about the effectiveness of dietary supplements
  • the Global Food Safety Initiative on a new e-commerce working group that it has established to mitigate risks associated with e-commerce and food safety
  • the Pew Charitable Trusts on the need for more participation by consumer advocates and public health officials in devising standards and conformance programs for dietary supplements, as well as greater transparency in audit reporting

“The dietary supplements market is complex and growing, prompting the need for industry solutions that support the regulatory framework,” said ANSI president and CEO S. Joe Bhatia. “ANSI was pleased to host this meeting of key stakeholders to address how voluntary standards and conformity assessment systems can be an integral part of the solution set.”

ANSI extends its thanks to NSF International and Wegmans Food Markets, Inc., as gold sponsors for the meeting. For more information, visit the event webpage.

About ANSI
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a private non-profit organization whose mission is to enhance U.S. global competitiveness and the American quality of life by promoting, facilitating, and safeguarding the integrity of the voluntary standardization and conformity assessment system. Its membership is made up of businesses, professional societies and trade associations, standards developers, government agencies, and consumer and labor organizations. ANSI represents and serves the diverse interests of more than 270,000 companies and organizations and 30 million professionals worldwide.

The Institute is the official U.S. representative to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and, via the U.S. National Committee, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). For more information, visit www.ansi.org.

Keywords

ANSI Focus on Services Standards