The Washington, D.C.-based Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), a national dietary supplement trade association, today testified on behalf of the dietary supplement industry before the United States Senate Special Committee on Aging. The hearing was titled “Dietary Supplements: What Seniors Need to Know.”
In his remarks
, CRN president Steve Mister reassured the more than 150 million Americans who take dietary supplements each year that, “The dietary supplement industry is committed to manufacturing and marketing high quality, safe and beneficial products that have a valuable role in a wellness regimen. This industry is likewise committed to ensuring consumers receive truthful, accurate and non-misleading information on dietary supplements.”
Mr. Mister pointed to the demonstrated track record of the industry for actively lobbying for stronger enforcement of the law under which the industry is regulated. He noted the industry—through its five trade associations—had developed a variety of voluntary, self-regulatory programs that address issues that potentially tarnish the industry, and pointed specifically to the $1.5 million unrestricted grant provided by CRN to the National Advertising Division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus to monitor dietary supplement ads to help ensure they are truthful and not misleading.
Mr. Mister advised that new legislation
introduced on Tuesday by Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Tom Harkin (D-IA) would provide additional funding and accountability for the Food and Drug Administration in further enforcing the law, and he urged Congress to support that bill.
Finally, he referred to consumer research that demonstrates that dietary supplement consumers are more likely than those who don’t take supplements to also engage in other healthy habits such as trying to eat a healthy diet, exercising regularly and visiting their doctors. “Dietary supplements help to preserve good health and help reduce the risks of certain chronic diseases. Vitamins fill in nutritional gaps, and are especially important when seniors fail to get a nutritious diet or aging itself reduces their bodies’ natural ability to absorb nutrients from conventional food.”