Coalition for Supplement Sustainability

New Coalition Aims to Bring Standards to Dietary Supplement Industry

Dietary supplements go to market without FDA approval, leaving consumers unsure of their safety and effectiveness. Now a new industry group plans to push for credible standards for supplements. First on the list: a standard for non-GMO products.

As demand rises for labeling of organic food and genetically modified organisms, companies and interest groups have started to turn their attention to another market: dietary supplements.

Supplement brands and ingredient manufacturers this week announced the creation of the Coalition for Supplement Sustainability , a new association that aims to bring “credible standards” to the industry, according to a news release.

Formerly known as the Non-GMO Dietary Supplement Working Group, CSS is a member-driven trade association that aims to establish more sustainable and transparent industry standards.

“I believe that we can create positive change in the supplement supply chain, working together to create a more trustworthy supplements industry as a whole,” Robert Craven, CEO of FoodState, a member company, said in a statement.

Unlike makers of food and medicine, manufacturers of dietary supplements—including vitamins, minerals, botanicals, and other products—are not required to get approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration before their products go to market. Nor are they required to prove the efficacy or safety of their products.

The FDA can take action against manufacturers, but only after “showing that a dietary supplement is ‘unsafe,’” according to the agency.

The use of dietary supplements was the leading complementary health approach among U.S. adults in 2012, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention health survey. As consumption of the products has increased, so, too, have concerns about a lack of uniform standards.

While a non-GMO standard for supplements is the “top priority” for CSS, it is not the coalition’s only objective.

“We also want to look beyond GMOs and make sure the group can take on even more issues at large for our industry,” CSS Communications Director Bethany Davis told CEO Update.

So far, CSS has more than 14 member companies, including Country Life and Naturex. The group remains open to incorporating new members, as well working with third-party verifiers to reach its goals.


Eli Zimmerman

By Eli Zimmerman

Eli is studying Journalism at the University of Maryland. When not studying, he likes to relax with a nice book or a couple rounds at the local boxing gym. MORE

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